Cloud

Dropcam makes surveillance consumer-friendly, gets $5M from Facebook investors

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Smile, you’re on camera! Wi-Fi video camera company Dropcam raised $5 million in its first round of funding today led by storied venture firm Accel Partners and Google+ vice president of product Bradley Horowitz.

Many people opt to install security cameras, nanny cams, or even office live feeds. But many of the current options on the market, such as Logitech‘s Wi-Fi video cameras, are battery-powered, involve software set up, are security focused, and are overly complicated. Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy wanted to make a Wi-Fi video camera that could act as a security camera, but also be more consumer friendly.

“I originally invested in Dropcam because I foresaw what the company and their products could do for consumers and the industry,” said angel investor Mitch Kapor in a statement. Kapor also invested in this round.

Dropcam connects to the web wirelessly to instantly give you a 24 hour, 7 days a week stream of wherever you decide to point it. The camera plugs into the wall for power, so it doesn’t offer the same amount of freedom as a battery-operated camera. The camera’s feed is named and encrypted for privacy to ensure that only you have access. Both audio and motion detectors are available on the camera and when activated, will send you push notifications or e-mail you a photo.

When it is time to watch your live stream of video, a computer is no longer a necessity. Dropcam offers apps to view the video on an iPhone or Android device, which also pick up on motion detectors.

The 24-year-old Duffy started the company after seeing his father struggle to install security cameras around his home. For such a young founder, however, this is not Duffy’s first startup. Indeed, Duffy was an early college entrant at the age of 15 (after receiving a full-time scholarship to UT-Arlington at age of 13). He decided to drop out of college early to create a voice over IP company named NCF Technologies. After spending time with his startup, Duffy left to work for both IBM and Microsoft, became principal software engineer at Xobni, and is finally trying his hand as a startup founder again.

Dropcam has a variety of pricing packages to go with the camera. All of the features mentioned above are free when you purchase the camera, but you can pay to record up to 30 days of footage which is stored in a secured data center for retrieval. The Plus plan costs nine dollars a month for 7 days worth of stored footage and the Pro plan offers 30 days of stored footage for $25.

The company will use this round of funding to enhance its video cloud product along with hires to its engineering team.

Dropcam was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco. It has raised $5.8 million in total from Accel Partners, and angels Bradley Horowitz, founder of the Lotus Development Corporation Mitch Kapor, Felicis Ventures founder Aydin Senkut, president of Triple Point Capital Ben Narasin, Bessemer Capital Partners partner David Cowan, and Salil Deshpande, general partner and Bay Partners.

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