Artificial intelligence startup Actuate raises $8M funding for gun-detection AI security tech to keep society safer from gun threats
We wrote about Actuate back in 2019 after the artificial intelligence startup rebranded from Aegis AI to its current name. Today, gun violence is spiking at schools, grocery stores, workplaces, and industrial facilities, and security systems meant to support security personnel response often go unmonitored and underutilized.
To tap into the wealth of visual data being collected by security cameras, Actuate today announced $8M in new funding for its computer vision software that turns any security camera into an intruder- and threat-detecting smart camera. The software, which is deployed at over 1000 schools, offices, defense facilities, and other sites, identifies risks and sends real-time automatic alerts to security teams for guns, intruders, workplace hazards, and other safety issues, including social distancing and mask compliance. Actuate will also use the new capital injection to expand the capabilities of its computer vision technology and build on the company’s growing portfolio of customers.
The funding round was led by Tribeca Venture Partners and joined by Scribble Ventures, OCA Ventures, and Context Ventures, with additional support from existing investors, including Bling Capital, Upside Partnership, and Tensility Venture Partners.
Actuate was founded in early 2018 by the University of Chicago MBAs Sonny Tai and Ben Ziomek. Tai is a former Marine Corps captain who spent his formative years in Johannesburg, South Africa, where gun violence rates are some of the highest in the world, while Ziomek brings deep data science and AI expertise gained from his time as a program manager at Microsoft. Actuate’s technology was developed in collaboration with law enforcement, educators, and the military with the vision of a safer, peaceful future for all.
About 90% of organizations have security cameras, yet many cameras are unmonitored and most data goes unused, which can endanger lives and lead to significant economic losses. Actuate is adding a critical layer of automation and intelligence to support data-driven security decisions and enhanced vigilance. The company’s AI-powered computer vision software turns any security camera into an intruder- and a threat-detecting smart camera that dramatically reduces the time it takes for security teams and law enforcement to respond to issues.
The Actuate solution integrates with any existing security camera without additional hardware, providing organizations with safer, cost-efficient, end-to-end security automation. The software identifies safety and security threats in real-time, reducing false positives by as much as 99%. When threats are detected, alerts are issued automatically to help security teams respond quickly to gun presence, intruders, social distancing violations, loitering, and other security events. Actuate’s analytics are trusted by hundreds of customers nationwide and deployed at over 1,000 sites, including schools, offices, military facilities, construction sites, affordable housing, high-end residential buildings and industrial facilities.
“We unfortunately live in a world where active shooter events and public safety threats continue to make headlines year after year, pointing to the critical need for faster, more accurate, and privacy-conscious security management solutions,” said Sonny Tai, CEO. “Actuate empowers security staff at the places we live, work, shop, and depend on with end-to-end security automation, helping them to do their jobs better and improve safety outcomes As we culminate a year of exponential growth, this support from our investors will be instrumental in driving the adoption of our security management platform and growing the range and accuracy of our privacy-conscious AI.”
In leveraging the new funding to expand its solution’s capabilities, Actuate is enhancing its behavior detection technology — which allows the software to detect adverse events or accidents such as slip-and-fall incidents — and further developing its all-in-one security management platform.
“With its unique AI software, Actuate is bringing physical security into the age of automation,” said Brian Hirsch, Managing Partner of Tribeca Venture Partners. “Actuate’s end-to-end platform powered by unique IP solves a myriad of security and building management challenges across organizations through real-time video-based analytics and automation. With professionals and students returning to offices and schools, we see a huge opportunity for Actuate’s solution to help manage social distancing concerns while cost-effectively protecting against security and safety events that can not only hurt the bottom line but also puts lives at risk. We’re proud to support the company in its mission to ensure a safer, more peaceful future for all.”
“We started deploying Actuate’s AI models this year and the difference in both accuracy and technical support has been palpable, so seeing Actuate’s venture funding success comes as no surprise,” said Blake Ballard, Director of Operations for Louisiana-based security company Global Monitoring Solutions. “Security teams rely on technology and tools that work proactively to ensure safety at all times. Utilizing Actuate’s exceptional platform and the top-notch team has enabled us to provide a much more reliable security monitoring service to our customers, making them the only solution we’d work with.”