Dean Drako is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Eagle Eye Networks - a cloud-based video security company. He believes that artificial intelligence will revolutionize the entire industry.
Drako, who spoke on May 18, said that one of the most difficult aspects of surveillance is to get humans to monitor feeds effectively. AI will be able to monitor security footage and take action in real time, Drako said. This will transform the surveillance industry from a "video security system" into one that is more like a "video security system".
Drako explained: "We can monitor the cameras to see if there is smoke or fire. We can also watch for people who are falling and not able get up." All of these are safety, security and crime-reduction things.
SECOM Co. LTD, a security integration company based in Japan, is one of those who believes in Drako’s vision.
Eagle Eye Networks announced on May 17, a $100,000,000 primary equity investment by SECOM. This is one of the largest funding rounds in 2023 for an Austin-based company. This investment is part of the $192 million that Drako invested in Brivo in Maryland, a cloud access control company in which Drako acquired a majority stake. He is now the chairman of the company.
Drako stated that the combination of Eagle Eye's video surveillance services and Brivo access control services are the main components for the physical security in a building. In a press release, SECOM's managing executive officer Sadahiro Sato called Briva, Eagle Eye Networks and the cloud-based physical security market leaders. He added that this investment would provide the best technology to keep businesses safe and communities secure.
Eagle Eye's large funding raise highlights the importance of artificial intelligence to the venture capital world. The company will invest the new funds in its AI-based analytical tools and general expansion.
Drako said in a press release that the SECOM investment demonstrates how cloud computing and artificial intelligence are the future for physical security. Both Eagle Eye and Brivo are going to use a large portion of their investment in order to develop AI which will dramatically improve the security of businesses and enterprises globally.
Drako stated that SECOM was interested SECOM in Eagle Eye founded in 2012. This was because Eagle Eye was the pioneer in the cloud video security industry, and its open platform allowed it to be tailored to the needs of different businesses. Drako acknowledged that the market for raising capital is "pretty tough right now," but added that Eagle Eye stood out because of its growth and success.
Drako stated that the company has grown by 50% per year "for a long time" and is now approaching 500 employees worldwide. SECOM is "very concerned" that Drako stays invested in Eagle Eye. He said that Eagle Eye will have 600 employees in a year.
"I enjoy building things." Drako said. Drako stated, "My hobbies revolve around building things." "My main hobby is to build companies," Drako said.
Austin is the largest office, but there are also significant offices in Amsterdam and Tokyo.
Drako is a fascinating entrepreneur with a stake on Austin's startup community. Drako, a multi-time founder, has done it all. He founded cybersecurity company Barracuda which was later acquired by Drako for $1.6 billion.
Serial entrepreneur, Drako Motors is the CEO and founder of Drako Motors. Drako Motors builds luxury electric vehicles. He's an interesting character who talked about his career in depth on a podcast episode by Austin Business Journal called Texas Business Minds in 2021.
A Drako-led startup has now secured one of the biggest Austin funding rounds in 2023.
This announcement is one of several recent large funding rounds that have been made for Austin startups, breaking a relative dry spell for the industry. Noveon Magnetics Inc. announced on May 16 a $75-million series B funding round, which was more than any local funding deal announced in the first quarter of 2023, except for three. Paradromics, a competitor of Neuralink, announced a series A funding round of $33 million on May 18. This will help fund the development and testing its brain-computer interfacing technology.
According to the latest Venture Monitor Report by PitchBook & the National Venture Capital Association, only 63 deals were closed in the first quarter of 2023. This was the lowest number of deals in Austin since 2016.