Could This German Threat Detection Company Become A $1B Business? by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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A handful of companies now compete to sell threat detection services.Getty

A company, Scylla, that combines behavioral analytics and weapons detection, is launching in the United States, joining the rapidly developing threat detection market.

The two-year-old company was started by Albert Stepanyan, who also founded a German innovation lab focused on AI, called Develandoo,

To him, technological solutions are an alternative to gun legislation that he sees as ineffective. 

Banning guns results in them being sold on darker markets ,” he said. “We see this in Europe.”

Scylla — named for the Greek monster that guarded a narrow channel of water, across from Charybdis, in the legend of Ulysses — is on track to have about $600,000 in revenue in 2019, said Stepanyan. Having invested about $500,000 to develop the company, he aims to raise a $2 million round to help it grow and believes it can be a $1 billion company within five or six years. Other entrepreneurs have estimated the market at $5 billion.

The company grew out of work that Develandoo was doing in Mexico City, when Stepanyan realized some of the technology that was coming out of the lab could be applied to the problem of security. He’s not alone in seeing the potential: I’ve written about a couple of startups in the space: Liberty Defense and Aegis AI.

“This is not rocket science,” Stepanyan said. Scylla’s AI-driven technology combines the ability to spot weapons like knives and guns via video, and systems that identify patterns of behavior — like the Las Vegas shooter bringing in large bags to his hotel room.

The challenge is in developing a working business model and a market. Scylla faces four real competitors: Shot Spotter, Athena Security, Avigilon and Aegis Systems.

Scylla has a few advantages, he said, including that its technology, with the behavioral element a part, is preventive. Video technology that identifies a weapon after it appears is not preventive. (Liberty Defense says its technology can detect weapons through soft luggage and clothing).

Scylla aims to make its headway, first, selling to small European municipalities, which make decisions faster than those in America, and to small police departments in the United States, which also can install the system faster. Each camera is $39 a month.

He is also hoping to sell to schools at cost, $9 a month per camera, which covers about 6 meters, height-wise, and up to 20 meters of distance.  The system for schools doesn’t include behavioral analysis.

The chief obstacle there, he said, is that authorities, representing parents, are concerned about their children under surveillance. Scylla’s system is closed, meaning that the information isn’t in the cloud.

The systems sold to municipalities and law enforcement agencies, which include analysis of behavioral data, do require access to the Internet, he said.

Stepanyan said he’s taken on the issue in part as a cause. “I’m getting married. I don’t want to my kids to be shot. This is like, a stupid problem,” he said. 

March 1, 2019 at 01:12AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs