Israeli video analytics co Viisights raises $10m

The company's AI-based security system recognizes behavior patterns that precede violence and other safety hazards.

Tel Aviv-based video analytics company Viisights today announced a $10 million Series-A fundraising round led by Canadian venture capital firm Awz Ventures, with the participation of Israeli venture capital firm Firstime Ventures, which led the company's seed round, Maxfield Capital, Altair Ventures, and LETA Capital. The company has raised $12.5 million altogether to date.

Viisights was founded in 2015 by its CEO Asaf Birenzvieg, chief product officer Menashe Rothschild, chief technology officer Amjad Akkawi, and chief scientist Simon Polak. The company employs fifteen people at its Tel Aviv offices.

Viisights says that it will use the proceeds from the fundraising to expand its sales organization, establish a global presence, continue to enhance its current products, and develop new solutions. The company offers its products through a growing network of strategic relationships with system integrators and sales channel partnerships, as well as through its direct sales force. The company reports that technology giants, NEC and Motorola Solutions, are already part of the network.

Viisights says that the video analytics market is projected by Allied Market Research to reach $3.9 billion next year and $14.4 billion by 2025. "Awz is a believer in Viisights' technology and management team," said Awz Ventures founder and managing partner Yaron Ashkenazi "We view Viisights' behavioural recognition solution as a unique offering within the video analytics market, which has great commercial potential and will make the world a safer place."

"We are excited to rollout our products globally; providing our customers with a safer, more secure, and resource efficient environment leading to a higher quality of life," Birenzvieg said.

Viisights uses artificial intelligence to bring behavioral understanding to video surveillance and practically every video stream. The system "watches" hundreds of hours of video fed into it by its developers, depicting violent incidents, and identifies the patterns to be sought in future videos. Its flagship product, Viisights Wise, offers a wide range of applications, including: violence and weapon recognition, context-related suspicious activity recognition, crowd management, vehicle and traffic surveillance, indoor and outdoor safety (including fire and smoke detection), and resource optimization.

Viisights says that it provides solutions for safe and smart cities, enterprises, campuses, banking and financial institutions, critical infrastructure sites, transportation hubs, and security guard companies. The company has recently demonstrated a new product prototype for in-vehicle occupants monitoring that is designed for use in public transportation, autonomous and ride share vehicles .

While the video analytics market receives criticism due to concerns about privacy violation, and cities like San-Francisco and Oakland have banned facial recognition technology, Viisights says that it has no such problem, since it does not recognize specific individuals, but rather behavioural patterns of interest.

Awz Ventures was established by ex Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) officer Ashkenazi in 2016 as a Canadian hub for investment in cybersecurity, intelligence and physical security AI-based technologies from Israel. It manages $100 million between its first two venture capital funds, and has made early stage investments in 14 companies to date. Former prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper is president of its advisory committee and Ed Sonshine is chairman of its board. Its management and advisors also include former senior executives from Israeli and Canadian agencies (Mossad, ISA, CSIS, CAF).

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 18, 2019