Sensr.net's Funding and Silicon Valley VSaaS Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 26, 2011

The funding of Sensr.net represents the first Silicon Valley style play into the emerging Video Surveillance as a Service Market. Until now, the market has been overwhelmingly filled with bootstrapped and angel funded entrants who focused on solving fairly well defined problems with a clear business model.

In light of this, Sensr.net's $1.5 Million round is an important milestone that raises intriguing questions about the future of this market. Consider that Sensr.net has no revenue and no established means to generate revenue (neither via subscriptions nor advertisements). Despite that, the size of funding is rather sizeable for this application. From our private discussions with entrants targeting similar markets (consumer / residential), far smaller amounts of funding have been used to arrive at a GA product.

Let's review Sensr.net's current service:

  • Sensr connects to IP cameras via FTP access: Users can connect to various IP cameras as long as they can accomplish the appropriate technical steps on the camera and router/firewall (as necessary). However, given that its FTP, this will generally be JPEG images.
  • Sensr provides 'basic motion detection' on those images and can email or text users if something is detected.
  • Sensr provides a playback / synopsis that aggregates images where motion is detected (think of it as a poor man's Briefcam). Here's a sample of playback for an Arecont camera [link no longer available]
  • Cameras can be private, public or shared with one's Facebook friends. Social media / networking is an important element of Sensr.net's approach emphasized in the funding announcement.
  • Currently, there's no cost for any of this. They note: "Starting in 2011, [Sensr] will offer premium plans. These plans will include unlimited alerts and a year's worth of image archives. But even when premium plans are announced, sensr will always offer a free plan."

While the company has three notable differentiators (alerting, video synopsis and social media sharing), it's not clear what practical problem they solve nor how these differentiators reinforce themselves. The alerting is helpful as a security offering but the quality is nowhere good enough for security use. The Facebook sharing should be interesting to some but that would seem to make this more of a webcam application than security. The requirements for connecting via FTP are likely going to cause problems for the majority of non technical users. Finally, while the free version will draw people in to try, the cost of providing free video hosting and motion detection is not trivial (specifically the marginal cost per customer).

For a sense of perspective, let's compare this to 3 Silicon Valley VSaaS providers:

  • Viaas: The system we find to be most mature, Viaas offers a customized plug n play 4CIF camera that connects to their VSaaS service providing 30 days of motion recording for $9.95 per camera per month.
  • Dropcam provides an Axis OEMed plug n play cube camera (CIF resolution) that connects to their VSaaS service providing 1 week of continuous recorded video fro $8.95 per camera per month.
  • VitaminD offers a video analytics application that you run on your PC connecting to webcams or network cameras. The system provides alerts and a moderate level of video management/review. Free license for 1 camera; unlimited camera license for $199. This is not a true VSaaS but we find this to be an attractive low cost, non-recurring alternative.

Unlike these offerings, Sensr.net does not have a clear target market nor product fit. However, with the new funding, Sensr.net will be able to experiment and expand their offering.

The progress of Sensr.net will be interesting to track as it will be a good demonstration of the power (or not) of integrating social media and freemium VSaaS.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Directory of 95 Video Surveillance Startups on May 20, 2020
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see...
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2020 on Feb 25, 2020
Video analytics is now as hot as ever, driven by the excitement of advancing...
Cisco Acquiring Fluidmesh on Apr 09, 2020
Cisco announced it is acquiring niche wireless manufacturer...
Anyvision Presents AI Facial Recognition and Mask Detection on Jun 08, 2020
AnyVision presented its AI facial recognition and mask detection at the May...
Sony Launches AI Camera Sensors on May 18, 2020
Weeks after exiting the branded video surveillance business, Sony is making a...
Ivy League Grads Present Percepta Shoplifting Detection on Jun 17, 2020
Ivy League graduates of the University of Pennsylvania presented their...
JCI "Fever Camera" Partners With China TVT on May 19, 2020
Johnson Controls (JCI) is the next big player to get into the 'fever camera'...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
AndroVideo Presents Edge AI Face Recognition Cameras on Jun 26, 2020
AndroVideo presented its AI at the edge face recognition cameras at the May...
Low Voltage Nation Wants to "Help You Carve Out A Fulfilling Career" Interviewed on Jul 06, 2020
It is difficult to make your way in this industry as there is little formal...
Startup Solink $17 Million USD Fund Raise Expands To Mass Market on Jun 24, 2020
Solink has raised ~$17 million USD, a sizeable round for the company that...
Camio Presents Coronavirus Social Distancing Analytics on Apr 20, 2020
Camio presented its social distancing analytics for responding to coronavirus...
ProCam Low-Cost Open Thermal Temperature Project on May 12, 2020
An engineering professor in Switzerland is building what he hopes will be the...
Sequr Presents HID based Cloud Access Control on Jun 04, 2020
Sequr presented HID based Cloud Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups...

Recent Reports

Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all of the...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...
ADI Returns To Growth, Back To 'Pre-COVID Levels' on Aug 05, 2020
While ADI was hit hard in April, with revenue declining 21%, the company's...
Exposing Fever Tablet Suppliers and 40+ Relabelers on Aug 05, 2020
IPVM has found 40+ USA and EU companies relabeling fever tablets designed,...
Directory of 201 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Aug 04, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Face Masks Increase Face Recognition Errors Says NIST on Aug 04, 2020
COVID-19 has led to widespread facemask use, which as IPVM testing has shown...
Dahua Loses Australian Medical Device Approval on Aug 04, 2020
Dahua has cancelled its medical device registration after "discussions" with...
Google Invests in ADT, ADT Stock Soars on Aug 03, 2020
Google has announced a $450 million investment in the Florida-based security...