Our lives as internet consumers revolve around video. Just think about how much time we all spend consuming TikTok and YouTube videos or streaming Netflix. In fact, more than 80% of web traffic is actually video traffic and this percentage is only expected to grow moving forward.
Contrast the ubiquity of video footage in our lives as consumers to the business world. Historically enterprises have largely used video footage to resolve security concerns, but visual footage largely remains one of the greatest un-indexed sources of information for enterprises. Businesses are truly missing out on a whole lot of actionable intelligence.
The last decade has seen the rise of “cameras everywhere”, with the number of cameras in the world recently rising to over one billion cameras. With more cameras in the world than ever before, businesses are beginning to ask how video intelligence can help improve their operations, security posture, and safety record by efficiently harnessing all the information recorded by these cameras.
Enter Spot AI which is making computer vision practical for underserved users in everyday businesses and industries that power the real economy. Imagine a car wash trying to understand the flow of vehicles through their facility over the course of a day. Or a warehouse operator who wants to know the moment a truck has arrived at the loading dock to begin processing materials. Or even an industrial plant or construction site where a foreman or plant leader wants to monitor safety operations more comprehensively.
That is why Scale Venture Partners is excited to lead a $40m Series B round in Spot AI, alongside Redpoint Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, StepStone Group, and MVP Ventures.
Spot AI meets the customer where they are offering free cameras, a business intelligence dashboard that works with all camera types, and a next-gen intelligent video recorder. Spot’s flexibility means businesses don’t need to replace their existing camera system, as the software works with existing cameras and makes Spot even easier to deploy.
A Track Record of Success in Hardware SaaS and Cognitive Applications
Scale has a long history of successful hardware SaaS focused investments such as Motive (fka KeepTruckin), Locus Robotics, and VergeSense. Oftentimes people ask why an enterprise SaaS focused firm like Scale has so many deals with a hardware component? Our simple answer is that we believe the next-generation of enterprise software will be intelligent (what we call cognitive applications), and this type of software application is often coupled with both sensors that collect data by reaching into the real world and software interoperability via APIs. And no other sensor type is as ubiquitous as the camera.
We’ve long believed that one of the best ways to capture value in machine learning products is to go “full stack”: in Spot’s case, the value comes from the combination of free cameras, a business intelligence dashboard, and how easy Spot makes it for non-technical users to get value from computer vision. As compared to other vendors who have traditionally led with “analytics and AI”, Spot started with an easy-to-use software layer that allows customers to see, search, and share video footage. Their key insight is that if you run a carwash or network of warehouses, you aren’t looking to buy “computer vision”; rather you are looking for an AI camera system that makes it easier to run your business.
Expanding the Video Intelligence Market Beyond Security Use Cases
In the last year, Spot has increased revenue by 5x, with 3x growth in customer logos. Spot has already been deployed at thousands of locations across businesses of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies. It’s sold into 17 verticals, including car washes, warehouses, care facilities, manufacturing sites and non-profits and it is constantly expanding its use cases.
Spot’s user-friendly product is finding success by getting users outside of the security organization to care about video. The customer base is highly engaged, with over 40% of monthly users logging into the tool every day. This consumer-like engagement for a B2B app has been driven by strong product innovation and differentiation.
A Founding Team That Knows Video and Hardware SaaS
Spot AI is led by 3 Stanford graduates who have deep expertise in developing and bringing Hardware SaaS, video and AI technologies to market. Tanuj was in engineering at the enterprise networking startup Meraki, Rish was in product at the Industrial IoT startup Samsara, and Sud was in growth at the Field Service Automation startup Zinier. They bonded in graduate school over the massive opportunity to bring this new technology to underserved industries. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with them.