China’s Kuang-Chi leads $7 million in vid startup Agent Vi to deploy smart video to smart city projects in Asia

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Israeli video analytics startup Agent Vi (Agent Video Intelligence) announced a $7 million Series C funding round Wednesday led by Shenzhen-based Kuang-Chi Science Limited and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. The investment comes out of Kuang-Chi’s $300 million Global Community of Innovation (GCI) fund which they launched earlier this year.

Their last round was in 2012. Crunchbase records them as having raised $14 million in total prior to that round. The company produces software that can turn standard surveillance cameras into “intelligent sensors” that can automatically detect events during filming and analyze them. The technology has application in aviation, robotics and machine learning among other fields for use in critical infrastructure, transportation hubs, security, enterprises and more. The new round gives the company a chance to expand to China and take part in Kuang-Chi’s smart city development project.

They are pushing two main products: savVi, their main video analytics suite, and central monitoring suite innoVi which runs as a SaaS offering. Agent Vi’s boasts its tech, dubbed Image Processing over IP networks (IPoIP) can extract elements of video it calls “feature extraction,” which uses low bandwidth — about 50 kbps — to grab what they call “image features” that allows the system to process events from hundreds of cameras at the same time, useful technology for multiple cameras deployed across a wide smart city network.

“Feature extraction refers to a pre-processing of the video at the edge (camera) to extract certain low-bandwidth image features that are then transmitted for further analysis,” CEO Itsik Kattan explains to Geektime. “The second-stage analysis of the features allows the classification of objects and detection of events. This architecture is patented by Agent Vi. We pull only the critical information from the video and can choose to exclude anything extraneous to the ‘features’ and ‘markers’ we need (including facial features, for example).”

“Agent Vi has gained a foothold in China and found an important partner in Kuang-Chi, a company that is creating next generation technologies with broad applications for the future of cities,” Agent Vi CEO Itsik Kattan said in a press release, referring to their investor’s endeavoring to integrate theirs and others’ new technologies into smart cities.

Kuang-Chi’s Future City strategy is at least partially influenced by Singapore’s “Smart Nation” project. Kuang-Chi wants to better integrate tech into municipal services and improve quality of life for urban residents, joinging a host of companies looking to “enlighten” cities if you will, like Samsung in Daegu, South Korea or Cisco in Berlin, Germany

Agent Vi is led by CEO Itsik Kattan and Co-founder & CTO Zvika Ashani. They have 40 employees worldwide.

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