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UPDATED: I find it fascinating that blogs write about new Kickstarter campaigns, as if promoting or even endorsing the new product ideas that startups put out there. I do tend to write about successful campaigns where goals are overachieved. But even then those goals can be set too low, the rewards for the backers may be set too high, so ultimately we bloggers appear to be startups’ sales people or at least enthusiastic supporters. Bad luck for the SaaS or B2B businesses then where we can’t really find a good angle for our cheers (“Now this is one good-looking cloud ERP for plumbers, we hope they get big!”).
So when I got contacted by the Czech team of Click2stream founder Peter Ocasek who is raising funding for his startup through Angellist, my initial thought was – shall we now extend our cheers to Angellist campaigns?
But then, Click2stream choose an interesting contrarian approach listing reasons why one should not invest in their company. Their business is to create value from the installed base of the security cameras (estimated figure worldwide is 0,5 billion units). The idea is to use those cameras to count, track and recognize everything. The applications are primarily in security and marketing space (customer journey heat maps).
Click2stream has developed a plug&play connection for most camera brands, and can anonymise faces. It has 10,000 Euros in monthly revenue. The team is working on building a big data platform that combines data from all connected cameras, as well as an app-store platform in this domain.
Here is how the idea came about. Its co-founders Robert Prokes and Peter Ocasek worked on their previous company, offering streaming solutions, and identified customer demand for security camera streaming, as well as related apps. They brought in Adam Herout, an associate professor of computer vision and acclaimed expert in this field as their third co-founder. Previously Ocasek sold a 20-people company, his earlier business, and founded two startup accelerators in Prague. Prokes founded Czech hosting provider Ignum before joining forces with Ocasek in their ventures such as Streamhosting and Camcada.
So, here is why you should not invest in Click2stream. Below are my favourites, and here is a full list.
2. We don’t talk to customers
5. We’re on the way to becoming Big Brother
8. We’re not from Silicon Valley
13. You won’t be our first (Although that would really be romantic, if you were.)
Bonus: Our current hockey-stick graph is fake (Because it took us a while to set up our Google Analytics properly, we didn’t realize how many views and visits we really generate.).
Obviously there are explanations for each of these statements, and the reason why they stopped paying salaries for some of its team members is because they offered to swap their salaries for company shares.
At least is what we are told.
And this is the problem.
Bloggers can hardly do more due diligence, than to look at the track record of the founders on LinkedIn, or quickly form an opinion about the idea, competition or difficulty of getting market acceptance. With Click2stream there is a lot of work ahead, in my humble opinion.
To get the real value they have to deal with legal issues on privacy, strike deals with the camera owners (a sales effort of massive proportion – in the UK only 1 in 70 CCTV cameras is owned by the government) and get scale locally, region by region to bring value to their data analytics customers – and that is aside from the technological challenges of big data analytics. And once they do it, the business will have nice barriers to entry which every investor wants, the question is – at what price? The Angellist round is certainly not going to be the last one.
But then again, I am just a blogger.
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