Some companies make a lot of noise around fundraising. Others choose to stay quiet, believing their product will drive necessary customer and investor interest.
Flock Safety is the former. Almost exactly three months after the surveillance camera startup raised about $10 million in their first significant funding round, they doubled that with another $10 million from some notable names: Founders Fund, Matrix Partners, and Bedrock, among them.
To Flock’s co-founder and CEO Garrett Langley, it was all about strategy, not noise.
“The core thesis of Bedrock is companies that break conceived notions,” Langley tells Hypepotamus. Bedrock’s founder, Geoff Lewis, led Lyft’s first funding round, serving on their Board of Directors as the ride hailing business scaled.
“Geoff has seen what it’s like to have a very local go-to-market,” says Langley.
Flock’s product and business strategy is as local as a tech startup can get. Their surveillance camera and accompanying software serve neighborhoods and homeowners’ associations who want an effective solution to search for the perpetrators of non-violent crimes.
The solar-powered Flock camera, which costs $2000 annually, can capture images of vehicles and license plates traveling up to 55 miles per hour, day and night.
Flock captures and securely stores all of this footage. Should a crime occur, the neighborhood association can request the footage from Flock to provide it to the local police department.
The company’s software contains algorithms that can sort cars by color, time of day, physical attributes and more. For privacy reasons, Flock deletes footage after 30 days.
While it seems simple, Langley says they’re seeing relatively astounding real-world results, including a self-measured 30 to 50 percent crime reduction in the neighborhoods that install he Flock system.
“We’re about to cross two solved crimes a day, on average,” he tells Hypepotamus. “When you look at our investor deck updates, our top-line metric is crimes solved.”
Flock is in over 30 states across the country, protecting over 150,000 homes, and turning out about 100 cameras a week.
To keep up with demand, the team has taken that almost $20 million in capital to scale quickly. They are at 60 employees, up from 20 in mid-2018, and plan to hit 100 this year.
Flock recently moved into a 6,000-square-foot office space in the White Provisions district of Atlanta’s West Midtown and just secured a second space to double their footprint in the same complex. They’re considering expanding further in surrounding buildings to accommodate the growing workforce.
Langley points out that, because they provide combined hardware and software, the company actually needs three separate engineering teams: one dedicated to the camera, one focused on the machine learning vision algorithms, and one on the camera footage used by neighborhoods and police.
The engineers work very closely with those police departments to really hone in on what is needed to catch a criminal.
“We spend so much time with police departments, that they’re really driving our product roadmap,” says Langley. “We’ve talked to dozens of Chiefs of Police to ask how they do their job. It’s our job as a tech company to augment that.”