The Internet of Things (IoT) market is set for huge growth in the years to come so it's no surprise that startups are springing up to take advantage of this growth market.
Cloudview was founded by James Wickes and merges the IoT with cloud computing to create a video surveillance system that helps companies make better use of video security footage.
The company is headquartered in a small office in Basingstoke, and has a team of 20 in the UK and Jordan working on sales and development.
We fired our startup spotlight questions at Wickes to find out more about his business.
Tell us about Cloudview
Cloudview is a secure, cloud-based video surveillance system intended for industrial and commercial applications. It’s been developed to work with legacy CCTV systems as well as IP-based CCTV.
Among many other transformational features, users can view, manage and share footage generated by CCTV from multiple locations on smartphones, tablets and PCs. Hard to believe, but we’re currently unchallenged in this market.
When was it started?
Cloudview started life in 2010 as Jabbakam, intended for use by consumers as a kind of high-tech neighbourhood watch system that enabled people with shared interests to network IP cameras together to protect communal interests.
From this experience I realised that there is a very significant demand for the 'black box' monitoring and recording of events and to protect people, property and assets across corporate and geographic domains. So we evolved the technology for corporate use and launched Cloudview in 2012.
Why did you setup Cloudview?
It began with my own experience. After disturbing a break-in at my home I found that, although there were CCTV cameras nearby, it was incredibly difficult to access the footage and piece together the sequence of events to help the police identify those responsible.
So I decided it was time that CCTV caught up with the rest of world and joined the IoT.
Tell us how you got your business off the ground
Reckless obstinacy backed by a highly talented, hardworking and determined team.
What technology do you use?
Cloudview is hosted on Amazon. It will connect to pretty much any type of CCTV system and can be accessed using any laptop, tablet or smartphone.
What level of funding have you received so far?
Cloudview has been funded to the tune of over £5m by the management and private investors.
What challenges have you encountered?
Developing a completely reliable and secure cloud-based visual surveillance system that can be scaled to tens of thousands of cameras without performance degradation has been far more difficult than we initially envisaged.
We’ve entirely reinvented how CCTV works and put it in the cloud so the applications for it have become vastly broader, making it more of a challenge to reach the many different and new markets for it.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your business to date?
Filming an interview with a client who had recently upgraded their CCTV system with Cloudview at a highly vulnerable location. They were absolutely delighted with the performance of the service and were stunned by the use they were now able to get from a CCTV system that previously had, in their words, been worse than useless. Cloudview has transformed the way they work, and that’s always great to hear.
What does your company do to relax or have fun after a busy day?
I guess it would be de rigueur to say that we have a game of table football after a busy day. The truth is that we all get a lot of satisfaction from building the business in these early days and we’re too busy working as a team to be doing team-building stuff.
What did you do before starting up?
I started a business in the late 80s that specialised in the distribution of data storage products and grew it to an annual revenue in excess of £500m after taking it public in the mid-90s.
What are your favourite and worst things about running your own startup?
Starting a business is unbelievably stressful. Nothing goes according to plan, but it is very rewarding to build something from nothing and I would not have it any other way.
If you could emulate the success of another startup which would it be?
Tesla. A business powered entirely by inspiration.
Do you work remotely, in a shared environment or have your own office space?
I work remotely and in a shared office environment depending on the sort of work I have to do.
Bill Gates by a country mile.
Smart or casual?
My conscience tells me to be smart but I prefer the ease of being casual.
Coffee shop of choice?
I think the standard Starbucks and Costas are pretty grim places. I will always seek out a local coffee shop where they haven’t been displaced by a chain.
Beverage of choice?
Diet Coke and guarana.
Fruit and Nut.
Could the government and technology industry do more to support UK startups?
One area in which the government is fairly switched on is in supporting startups. In particular, schemes such as EIS have been a great incentive for individuals to invest in new businesses. Startups are tough but the rewards can be huge.
If you want to take part in the V3 Startup Spotlight contact Roland Moore-Colyer.
Previous startups under the spotlight have ranged from IoT wireless network firm Nwave Technologies and e-commerce and augmented reality firm GoInStore, online currency exchange platform FreemarketFX and web app management consultancy DevOpsGuys.
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