VENTUREWIRE - Surveillance Co. Cernium Closes $7.5M Series D, Hires Craig Chambers As CEO
Reston, Va. -- Cernium Inc., which provides behavior recognition software and video surveillance systems, closed its insider Series D funding round with a $7.5 million investment and has hired new Chief Executive and President Craig Chambers to help steer the company.
The company's largest shareholder, Lurie Investments Inc., led the September round, with participation from individual investors. The company's other investors include engineering firm Ross & Baruzzini and Open Prairie Ventures. Cernium has raised $15 million to date, said Executive Vice-President Sean Patty.
The new funding will primarily be used for sales and marketing programs.
With just under 30 employees, the company plans to increase the team significantly over the next couple years.
The Series D is much larger than the company's Series C, which closed in the summer of 2003 with $2.8 million and was also led by Lurie. "We are growing at a faster rate," said Patty. "Opportunities are more vivid today than a couple years ago. There are opportunities in different vertical markets that we want to capitalize on."
Cernium is currently targeting airports, universities and hospitals.
Cernium's behavior recognition products analyze video from security cameras and other devices to determine when objects move and what they are doing.
Once it identifies a potentially important behavior, the video is referred to a professional to make an assessment.
"The problem we solve is there's so much information captured with video cameras, it's impossible to keep tabs," said Patty.
Cernium's video systems are able to distinguish among a catalog of distinct human and vehicular behaviors, such as a fallen person, lingering individuals and vehicles, and abandoned objects in real time.
Cernium's competition comes from companies like ObjectVideo Inc. and Vidient Inc.
Chambers replaced Patty last month following a role as managing director of the security and surveillance group of Sarnoff Corp., a subsidiary of SRI International. Before that he was a director in SRI's technology management consulting business.
"I think it's a natural progression," Patty said about the management change. Management, including Patty, wanted to hire someone with more experience in terms of market development.
Cernium recently moved its headquarters to Reston, Va., from St. Louis, where it will maintain research and development facilities. In Reston, the technical talent pool is bigger and end users are closer, said Patty.
C2005 Technologic Partners