September 27, 2020

World-leading UK based AI intelligence company SeeQuestor raising capital through private equity

World-leading AI provider SeeQuestor is raising £2.2m of growth capital for its new generation of cutting-edge real-time CCTV analytics tools through Growthdeck, the private equity investment firm.

SeeQuestor is a London-based, UK artificial intelligence company providing patent protected, comprehensive video analytics solutions to law enforcement and intelligence communities, critical infrastructure and smart cities around the world. The company harnesses world-leading AI technology and super-computing power to turn terabytes of CCTV video into actionable intelligence.

Video infrastructure is everywhere, and camera installations are growing internationally at double digit rates every year. However, current practice has been to “eyeball” this video, hour for hour. This inefficiency leads to only approximately 1% of available video being watched, meaning crimes go unsolved, live incidents are poorly managed and threats are not foreseen. SeeQuestor is changing this paradigm, delivering vastly improved public safety outcomes.

SeeQuestor’s Post Event and Intelligent CCTV systems are in demand internationally by airports, government agencies, smart cities and law enforcement. Many successful police manhunts have been completed using SeeQuestor’s technology, including a number with

high media profiles. Systems have been successfully deployed by a national intelligence organisation at a major international airport as well as with law enforcement agencies.

SeeQuestor’s Post Event System can be used to quickly review thousands of hours of video (from any video source, including poor quality footage) to help conduct investigations in a fraction of the time taken using conventional viewing methods. It can immediately locate and identify persons or objects of interest, generate reports and maintain the evidential chain.

SeeQuestor’s Intelligent CCTV (iCCTV) System can monitor live video feeds from thousands of cameras. It automatically tracks and identifies persons of interest; creates alerts from watchlists; makes associations between individuals; provides alerts for abnormal or suspicious behaviour, potential threats such as guns, weapons and suspicious bags or packages; tracks vehicles and monitors traffic violations. iCCTV provides actionable, real time intelligence delivered not just to a control room but also to field agents’ cell phones.

The business will use the capital to launch and promote its product internationally, grow its team and launch an integrated mobile version. Growthdeck already reached a first close of more than £400,000 on its investment in early July.

SeeQuestor’s competitive advantages are that it can recognise whole people (not just their faces), suspicious objects (bags, packages, weapons) and vehicles. Its systems can uniquely use almost all existing CCTV cameras, even old and low-quality ones. Its analytics are more accurate, using multiple algorithms. Additionally, SeeQuestor products are uniquely designed for large camera networks (up to thousands) to deliver critical public safety benefits.

The business prides itself on its stance on data privacy and ethics, and is advised on ethics by Professor Tom Sorell, Head of Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group at Warwick University and fellow at Harvard.

As Covid-19 forces governments worldwide to invest in contact tracing, SeeQuestor’s systems are likely to be in even higher demand as a public health tool.

The management team at SeeQuestor includes renowned figures from the technology and security sectors, including:

  • Co-Founder and non-executive Chairman Tristram Riley-Smith, a national security expert and Director of Research at Cambridge University’s Department of Politics and International Studies. He has also sat on the Ministerial Board of the Government’s Security & Resilience Growth Partnership.
  • Co-Founder/CTO Henry Hyde-Thomson, a former research fellow in the Department of Computing at Imperial College, London. He was the founder and entrepreneur behind ‘Speech Machines’, a speech recognition software company successfully sold to Philips.
  • Co-Founder/COO William Addison, who founded and led the growth of several high technology companies in various C-level and board roles via his investment vehicle Anglo Scientific Ltd. He also serves as Advisor to a Singapore Government Fund for new technologies.
  • CEO Thibaud Weick, who has 20 years of C-suite experience at global telecoms businesses, including Vodafone and Orascom Telecom, and in entrepreneurial ventures operating across multiple markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Thibaud was appointed in October 2019 to lead SeeQuestor’s expansion.

The business is also advised on science by Roberto Cipolla, Professor of Information Engineering at Cambridge University.

Paul Boon, Investment Director, at Growthdeck, says: “SeeQuestor is already a true world leader in the AI and CCTV field, delivering a genuinely revolutionary product.”

“SeeQuestor is not a start-up hoping to eventually produce something market-leading when its technology matures – this is a product that has delivered results for law enforcement worldwide many times over. It is far ahead of its competitors and winning contracts ahead of products developed by multinationals.”

“The demand for such innovative technologies shows no signs of slowing down. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic presents an additional need for sophisticated contact tracing technology. This is a technology that will become commonplace worldwide in the coming years.”

Growthdeck’s investment in SeeQuestor qualifies for tax reliefs under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). EIS is an investment scheme which allows private investors to make tax savings by investing in growth businesses. The EIS allows investors to:

  • Invest up to £1million per annum.
  • Reclaim 30% of the cost of investment against their income tax bill.
  • To not pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any gains realised after three years.
  • Claim further income tax relief should an investment result in any form of loss.
  • Defer capital gains tax due on the sale of another asset by re-investing the gain in an EIS-qualifying company.
  • Save inheritance tax on any EIS-qualifying shares held for over two years.