This IIIT-Bangalore incubated start up makes surveillance smarter
Urban living comes with its ups and downs. While a higher standard of living and earning opportunities make for the upside, threats to safety and security make the biggest downside.
To enhance the security of citizens, many residential complexes and gated communities in cities have been installing closed circuit television cameras to record movements of vehicles, and people, but Sridhar Singisetty and Govind Prasad felt more could be done.
While most security systems only record movements and require a person to sit and watch the footage, Sridhar and Govind decided to make this function smarter by adding video analytics. Their startup, City Surveillance Services, offers a software-engineered recorder that can analyse movements and generate alerts.
The duo was earlier employed with companies in the software, telecom and IT solutions verticals, and dealt with both, government and other organisations. This is where the idea to make smarter surveillance struck, and they started with residential complexes.
What does the product do?
IIIT Bengaluru-incubated City Surveillance is a software service provider that can be retrofitted in video recorders to provide alerts through app notifications, SMSes, and emails.
City Surveillance does not provide end-to-end surveillance systems, and has partnered with multiple vendors, system integrators, dealers and CCTV manufacturers. Its website and app collate and provide available service providers and prices that a customer can choose from. It offers software to analyse recorded data on movement of vehicles and people, and charges a monthly subscription fee for the same.
“As the technology is relatively new, involving computer vision, image processing, machine learning, deep learning and AI techniques, getting people to work around these new trends was their main challenge,” says Sridhar.
City Surveillance has posted a revenue of around Rs 8 lakh since its inception, and it gets subscribers from users, while equipment manufacturers, distributors, dealers and system integrators pay commissions. The company charges Rs 175 per camera per month.
While Sridhar and Govind built the core features of the system, operations expert Raghavendra Hedge joined them as an advisor and later as a co-founder. The core team has eight members, including the three co-founders.
Building the product
On the scope for their offering, Sridhar is optimistic. “According to a study, the city surveillance market in India in 2017 stood at $2 billion, and is projected to reach $8 billion by 2025.”
Sridhar explains system integrators like Bosch, Hikvision and Honeywell only install camera systems, but the data generated needs to be analysed. He adds City Surveillance analyses movements like people counting, facial recognition, and motion pattern detection etc.
Customers: Residential complexes
Value proposition: Alert systems integrated with video analytics
Turnover: Rs 8 lakh so far
The numbers and business
Founded in December 2016, the company has four paying customers, and six in the pipeline. It is also in talks with organisations such as BHEL, Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and IIIT Bengaluru to secure their residential complexes.
The Bengaluru-based company plans to expand its operations to Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Delhi by the end of next year.
The bootstrapped startup is looking for external funds to take the business to next level. Addressing data privacy concerns, Sridhar says the system provides end-to-end encryption. “It is accessible only to the customer administrators, and City Surveillance-authorised personnel. All your video analysed data is cloud-stored in the smart surveillance video recorder, which is protected by passwords,” says Sridhar.
The next step for the company, Sridhar believes, could be comprehensive managed surveillance solutions, such as dedicated command and control centres that provide premium services to organisations like Border Security Force, oil and gas companies and even road and rail networks.