Boston’s Battery Ventures acquires smart surveillance solutions NICE Systems’ PSBU for up to $100 million: Here are its applications
Making waves in the global tech sector, Battery Ventures announced on Monday that they had acquired NICE Systems’ Physical Security Business Unit (PSBU) for a price tag of up to $100 million. Previously a department under NICE’s security division, PSBU will reportedly become an independent company, managing its own operations.
PSBU offers a range of advanced surveillance solutions that allow security managers to utilize big data collection with impressive tracking and analytical functions through their systems. Clients using their services include airports, cities, and venues that host large numbers of attendees such as sports stadiums.
Current General Manager Moti Shabtai will continue on as the company’s president, with Adam Markin of Battery serving as the chairman.
Finding needles in haystacks
One of PSBU’s most exciting products is called Suspect Search. It allows the users to enter a description of the person of interest or even to create an avatar, and then search for individuals that match the profile across the various video feeds and stored data.
A real world application of the PSBU products is tracking persons of interest at an airport that are suspected of not having passed through proper security protocols. The software can then locate the individual with either a picture or description, and tell the users where in the facility the suspect has been. This type of operational capability is essential for a security team in preventing and analyzing threats.
Other uses for the system are locating lost children or monitoring highways. The Situation Management product allows for a comprehensive operational understanding of the different elements by combining inputs such as camera feeds, weather reports, and other data to bring relevant information to security managers. These solutions are ideal for mass transportation and maritime shipping hubs that need to oversee enormous quantities of people, often with limited resources.
The philosophy driving Battery Ventures’ growth in Israel
The team behind the acquisition is the Boston area based Battery Ventures. In speaking with General Partner Jesse Feldman, he explains their interest in PSBU.
“The company has great technology and the products that they’ve built are in our view the best in the market,” Feldman says to Geektime. “That is where Battery always starts, with great technology. We are also very excited about the market opportunity. The first is on the traditional physical security side, particularly with video management and analytics. The second is a developing marketing opportunity focused on optimizing operational behavior systems, which has been a growth market for the products.”
In looking to the future of the company, Feldman tells Geektime that, “We see opportunity in continued organic growth to create new products from internal to the company. We also think that there is an interesting opportunity to acquire other products and to continue to build out the platform, particularly around the Situation Management portfolio. The most significant is the video management which we own, but there are lots of other systems that provide input that we think are interesting acquisition targets, like access control.”
From their offices in Herzliya, Israel, General Partner Scott Tobin explains that Battery is interested in growing their portfolio through various traditional investments, taking minority stakes in firms, and as in the case of PSBU, buying some companies outright. Of particular focus are companies working in data center transformation projects.
“Those type of infrastructure investments seem to be ripe right now, and are very well matched to the local community,” asserts Tobin, explaining that, “We have a thesis that the entire data center as it has been thought of is being retooled. Software is coming in and giving companies new flexibility to come in and build data centers in a more efficient manner.”
Where does the future lead?
Battery’s acquisition appears to be a concrete step in advancing both their presence in Israel and for growing PSBU. By keeping Shabtai at the head of the operation, they are staying the current course that has built up PSBU to the solid state it is today.
In keeping with their vision, they are likely to continue expanding their range of products, making an even stronger offering: PSBU is a fascinating company to keep an eye on moving forward.
Featured Image Credit: Karl Baron / Flickr