Prism SkyLabs, a cloud-based service that allows business owners to bring video feeds online, capture images from these feeds and share this data with consumers and the public, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding round led by new investors Triangle Peak Partners and Pacific Partners, and joined by Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Ventures, Anthem Venture Partners, Eagle, MkII Ventures, SeriesG, and Data Collective.
Prism Skylabs, which launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011, offers a cloud service that leverages data from existing video surveillance cameras to unlock information on customer patterns, trends and behaviors. Previously, the startup had raised $1.5 million from the SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Eric Schmidt, Aaron Patzer, Brad Garlinghouse, CrunchFund and others.
Here’s how Prism Skylabs works: Most stores and restaurants have surveillance videos running 24-hours a day. Generally, this massive amount of surveillance video is unused. Businesses can download free, cloud-based software that detects cameras or video on a network, and showcases a number of images of the space to the business. Similar to the way you can pull images from videos using a video editing software, Prism Skylabs pulls relevant images of your establishment and builds insightful visualizations from these photos, while protecting customer privacy.
“Prism Skylabs is exactly what brick-and-mortar retailers have been looking for,” said Pacific Partners Co-Founder Gordon Rubenstein in a release. “It’s a simple and scalable way to understand product lift and customer movement across thousands of sites, and to gain immediate, mobile access to views of any shelf, display or store.”
For example, Prism Skylabs can extract a visualization that will show the path that people are taking in a store (which can help owners gain insight into the performance of design or display), a heatmap of bodies and high or low traffic areas, a photo without any people in the store and more.
And the startup takes this one step further by analyzing the video data and providing summaries of customer activity, behavior and movement. Prism Skylabs also allows users to share and syndicate these photos directly from their platform to a business’ Facebook page, Twitter stream, website, Yelp profile, Google+ profile, YouTube account and Picasa profile.
Prism was founded by video surveillance expert Steve Russell and Ron Palmeri, the founder of MkII Ventures. Russell previously founded 3VR, a digital video security company and has a dozen video-related patents.
The offering is currently available by invitation only, with wider availability expected to launch in November.
The company has a compelling take on customer analytics. Not only does Prism Skylabs allow businesses to actually make sense of video data that was previously unused, but it also helps these vendors become smarter with visualizations and analytics.