Solink Raises $12 Million - Company Profile

By Dan Gelinas, Published Feb 12, 2019, 10:28am EST

Most industry professionals have never heard of Solink, a company whose tagline is:

It's time to revolutionize the way business uses video.

However, raised ~$12 million USD recently, a substantial raise for video surveillance standards, especially given Solink's low profile.

Ottawa, Ontario-based business-intelligence and cloud-computing company Solink is not extremely well-known in the industry, yet they raised $16 million at the end of 2018, which, while not a huge sum is atypical for such a niche company. What do they bring to the table that others do not?

In this note, based on our interview with the company's senior leadership we examine:

  • Funding
  • Growth
  • Revenue
  • Company background
  • VSaaS Platform
  • On-Site NVR with Integrated Cloud Storage
  • Video Analytics with Retail Data Focus
  • DIY Commercial Video Monitoring
  • RMR VSaaS Pricing
  • Market strategy
  • Compared to Retail Data Specialists and VSaaS Startups
  • Outlook

*** *******'* *** *** Co-Founder, **** ***** [**** no ****** *********], ****** a********** ** ** ****, ********** *** *******, its ******** *****, *** their technology *** ******* ********* and ******** **** **** members.

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**** *-****** ********* ***** gives * ***** ******** of ***** ********:

$16 ******* ****** * *******

** ** ****, ************ $** ******* *** (~$12 ******* ***) ** a ****** * ******* round*** ******* ****** ********. **** ******* ******* on *** ******* ** 2017 ******* ***** ** CA$5 ******* **** ****** from********** ********. **** ******* **** allow ****** ** ****** and ******* ******* *** business ************ ********.

*******

***** **** **** ** a ******* *******, **** do *** ******** ****** revenue *******. *******, ** did ***** **** ** the **** ** ****** his discussion ** **** ****** had **** ******* ** 10-15%/month. **** ****** *** slowed * *** ********:

**’** ********* ******* ** around *-** ********—***** ** close ** ****** *** a ****** ******* ** we *****. ****’* ***** About *-**% ***** **** month.

** **** *** ***** growing ** **** ****** annually, **** ** **** high ****** ****, ********** for * **** ******** that ***** ** **** long **** ****-** ** revenue. **** ***** **** explain *** ******* **** a ********** ***** ***********.

Company **********

****** *** ****** ** 2009 [**** ** ****** available] ***** ** ******'* "******* ******" centers, ******. ** *** **** ***** formation, *** ******* *** transitioned **** ********* ***** more ** * ****-** analytics ******* *** *** party ***** ** * full *** ******** **********.

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**** ****** *** ***** climbed ** **** *,*** in ** ****, ********* to *** *******.

***** **** ****** ********* has ** ********* **** plans ** *** **-** more ** *** **** calendar ****. ***** **** the *******'* ******* ********* was ** *******:

  • *&* & ******* *********** **%
  • ********** **%
  • ***** & ********* **%
  • ******** ******* **%
  • *****/********* ******** **%

Growth ******* ** *****-***-****** ******

*** ******* ***** ** balance *** **** ****** between *** ********* *****, sales/marketing/operations, *** *&*. ***** said ***** ******** ***** be ********* ******** ** each **** ** ***** ******** and ********** ********* ** *********:

** ****** ** ***** experiments **********, ** ***'* put *** ******** ** risk ** ****-********** ***** in *** **** ***** we *** ******* .... We **** * ********* plan ******* **** ******* of **** *** *** pragmatic *** **** ****** down ** *** **** as ********.

***** **** *** ******* for *** ******* *** to **** ****** **** its ******* ****** *********, banking, ******, *** **** service:

****'** ** *****. ******, and ***********. *** *** break ***** **. ** see * *** ** momentum *****. ** ****** you've *** ******* ** specialty ******. ** ***********, there’s **** ****** *** then ***. ******* ** continuing ** ****. *****’* a ********* *** ***** paired **** **** *** that's *** ****.

VSaaS ********

*** ******** ********* ** Solink ** ***** **** said **** *** ** differentiate **********. *** ****** is *******-***** *** ***** said ** **** *** require ******* *** ****** work **** **** ****** browsers. **** **** ***** mobile **** *** ******* video *** *******, *** not *************.

****** ******* ** ***** and *********-***** ***** *********, cloud *******, ****** ***** sharing, *** *** **** integration. *** *** ****** connects ******** ** **** install ******** ******* ****** cloud *** ******** *****-**** management **** * ****** login. 

****** **** *** ***** a **** ***** ****** but ***** *** *** can ****** * ***** layout ********* *** **** output *** * **** monitor.

On-Site *** **** ********** ***** *******

****** ******** * *********** Celeron-based *** ********* **** provides ~** **** ** on-site ********* *** * secure ******* **** ** Solink ***** *******. *** NVR ******* * ******* of **** ****** (******** and **-***), *** ********* management.

****** **** *** *** connects ** *** ***** cameras ******* ***** (** is *** ****** ** ONVIF **********) ** **** and **** ******** **** connections ** *****-**-**** *******, and ***** ***-***** ******* (vehicle, ******, ***********, ***).

****** **** *** *** can ************* **** *****/***** based ***** ** *** cloud *** ****** ******* and ****** *******, *** searching/playback ** ***** ** transparent ****** *** *** or ****** ******.

Video ********* **** ****** **** *****

****** **** ***** ******** vision ***** ********* *** trained ** *** ***** based ** ****** *** custom ***** ****. **** also **** **** *** training ********* ****** ** learn ***** ***** ** sale ********* *** *******, and ******** ** ******** transaction ******** ***** ******* employees *** *********.

DIY ********** ***** **********

****** **** **** *** focusing ***** ********* *********** on ********* *** ***** features *** ************ **** would ******* **** ***** verification ********** *******.

**** ** * ****** theme ** **** *** residential ***** *** ******** systems *** **** ** more ********* ** ***** efficiently ** ********** ********* with ****** ** ********* and ******** ** *******.

RMR ***** *******

***** **** **** ***** solution ****** ** $***/***** ($2,100/year) *** ** ** 32 ** *******, *** scales ** ********* ** the ********* ** ******** need:

***** *** ********* *******, but $***/***** ** *** dead ****** ********. *** have **** ********* *** say ** ***’* **** the ****, *** ** don’t ***** **** ***.

********* ** *** ****** of ******* **** ***** be ** ********* *** camera ********* **** *** small ****** *********, ***** might ***** ***** $*,*** total ** ** ***. Solink ******** *** *** with ***** ********.

****** ***** **** *** not ****** ** ******* on ***** **** ****, that ********* ***** ** not * ****-****** ******, especially **** ********* ***** are **** ********.

Direct ********* / ****** *******

****** ***** ** *** market **** *** ******-**-***-******** and ****** ******, ****** Matta **** ******* ***** dealer ******* *** **** difficult.

** **** **** ** the ***** ** ****, Solink *** ~** ********* integrator ************ ** *** US *** **** ***** deployed ********* *** ****** in ***** ******* ** a **%/**% ****** ******* the **/****** **** *** remaining **% ***** ******** elsewhere:

***** ******* *** ******** to ***** **. **'** go ** ***** **** the ****** ****, *** Philippines. *** ** ***’* have ***** ******** ** those ***** ***.

Compared ** ****** **** *********** *** ***** ********

**** *** ******* ********* with *********** ****** ********* providers **** ******* *** **********, *** **** * data-first ********, *** ******* a ***** ** ******** from ** ******* ** advertising *** *********. ****** competes **** **** **** of ******** ********, *** also ********* **** ******** to *** *****.

***** ****************** **************** ***** ******** *********** by ********* ******* ****** architecture, ********* **-**** ******** with ***** *********, ******** cloud ******* *** ***** analytics. *******, ******* ***** Eye ** ******* ***** similar ****** **** *********.

Comments (9)

Pretty cool though they price a lot of smaller guys out with that model.

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Thanks Matthew, I agree. We are looking at options to address going down-market (<8 cameras). Would be interested on ways you have seen this successfully executed in a service model.

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Thanks Dan - great write-up. Really appreciate the opportunity to chat with you and Sean on our financing and to introduce you to Solink. IPVM has been a great resource over the years as we built the business. Thank you to the writers/moderators and John for your contribution to IPVM and building a phenomenal community.

When we decided to shift away from consulting and go-deep on building a product (about 5 years ago) - there were 3 areas we wanted to dominate:

1) We wanted to make video easily accessible. One, of many, examples is that we built our first iteration on mobile to force us to think like a customer. We also changed the constraints of video from operating in-network only to securely operating in the cloud.

2) Data from other systems adds context to video. We wanted to take this to another level  form standard "text insertion" - leveraging data from other systems to augment video through search/reporting/alerting/etc, and leveraging video to augment traditional BI requirements (ie. exception based reporting in retail).

3) We wanted to be service centric. This isn't just a marketing gimmick - a lot of traditional hardware companies financially engineer SaaS rather than building their product end-to-end as a service. Our "bar" of service drives our decisions from who we partner with, our commitment to support, how we iterate our roadmap and so much more.

 

Couple of observations on the above

1) We are revisiting our pricing to address the "small retail customer" you alluded to above. We want to serve all sizes of customers (from small to large). We also get pulled into being the dominant video service (rather than an nDVR) so you will see us lead with video as well and integrate data after the fact, in some cases the "data" component will take other forms (public data, benchmarked data, video markers, etc.)

2) Slight clarification on the hardware we use. It's not "proprietary" but rather we use off-the-shelf hardware. We currently use a reputable NAS manufacturer. Over time you'll see us announce other partnerships to support many Linux based variants. This hardware is bundled into our service. One reason we can use Celeron devices is that we don't transcode on-device. Like other "dynamic streaming" services (ie Youtube) we record multiple versions of the stream to cater to the bandwidth and interface of the requesting client. Being able to "extend" the device through our cloud platform allows us to add additional computes, storage, GPU on-demand.

3) Our understanding of "ONVIF conformant" was that the source had to conform. Thanks for bringing this to our attention - we will look into getting register if required.

4) We have focused on building a business that lasts. You are right, we aren't "extremely well known" and that will hopefully change as we keep growing, but we are not interested in hype. We want to be a extension of our customers/partners for life because we make them better. 

 

We look forward to updating you on our progress, happy to field questions from members. Thank you for taking time to chat with us. 

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Mike, 

Do you feel that going to market with both direct-to-customer and dealer models may be impacting your dealer growth, especially in the US? Looking to see how the 'service centric' focus plays out in strategic partnerships, etc. 

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Thanks Marc, 

Sorry for the confusion, what we were trying to communicate in the article, was that the initial challenge with getting dealers on-board, was a lack of direct reference accounts.  Our model is to sell through our National & Regional Integrator Partners and we are more than excited with the growth of accounts through our partners. 

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One of the most amazing never-heard-of products around.  Personally, I think the cost structure is fine and in some cases, I tend to get a bit more due to the provable cost savings at even 1 incident per month needing to be reviewed.  Matt and Team - keep up the great work and we're looking forward to seeing what's around the next bend.

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Thanks @Kevin!!

We will change "never-heard-of" through word-of-mouth and referrals. 

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Sorry - Mike (Got ahead of myself)

 

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

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