Michael Dell Invests in VSaaS Startup Eagle Eye

By John Honovich, Published Aug 01, 2014, 12:00am EDT

Only a month after Google bought Dropcam, Michael Dell is investing in VSaaS startup, Eagle Eye Networks.

Inside this note, we look at what this means for the VSaaS market, in general, and Eagle Eye, in particular.

The Round

This is a B series round for Eagle Eye and the first money invested outside of the founder / CEO, Dean Drako [link no longer available], who previously founded Baraccuda Networks.

The round is majority lead by Micheal Dell's private investment firm, along with contributions from Austin Ventures and Enrique Salem of Symantec.

The total dollar amount was not disclosed but is somewhere in the multiple millions.

Why The Investment

The Dell investment is primarily because Dell knows and trust the founder of Eagle Eye, not because Dell is focused or excited about VSaaS or cloud surveillance.

Eagle Eye's Positioning

As a VSaaS company, Eagle Eye is the opposite of Dropcam. Whereas Dropcam only stored in the cloud, bundled their own cameras and targeted consumers, Eagle Eye leads with on-site storage (with cloud back-up / transfer), does not sell cameras at all and targets the traditional professional security market. For more, see our original Eagle Eye Networks review.

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Use of the Round / Job Openings

As is common, the company will use the round to expand product development, sales and marketing. In particular, for those sales people looking for an early stage manufacturer, Eagle Eye has a variety of openings in sales.

Progress So Far

Eage Eye reports ~20 engineers and ~100 dealers to date.

A key issue for any new recorder entrant is building out feature sets to close the gap on incumbents who have been around for 10 to 15 years. Over the past 6 months, Eagle Eye says they have added a number of basic features like an API, mapping, RTSP support, digital zoom, local monitor support, etc.

Market Impact

This move says nothing about the broader momentum for VSaaS, as its an investment into an established founder going after the traditional security market.

However, it does increase the potential for competition in the moribund surveillance recorder space. In particular, Eagle Eye has one critical advantage on almost every established VMS developer - built-in cloud remote access. With additional money to market and sell themselves, they likely will increase awareness of the value for this ability, which we think every VMS should offer.

Eagle Eye still has a long way to go, both on the product and promotion side. This round clearly helps them in that direction and, hopefully, in the process, spurs incumbents to add cloud access to their offerings.

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