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According to the filing, the company has raised an additional $10 million from 8 unlisted investors. This comes less than three months after Flock raised $9.6 million in a funding round led by Matrix Partners. Crunchbase News broke that story on August 30th.
This new round of funding, which the company hasn’t publicly announced yet, brings Flock’s total known capital raised to $19.7 million.
Here’s a quick reminder of what Flock Safety does. Basically, it deploys networked security cameras that surveil neighborhoods. Upper-end gated communities and homeowners associations, like this one in Richmond, VA, are a primary market for the company’s combined hardware and software solutions. Flock Safety’s cameras can read license plates on passing cars to identify if they belong to residents or outsiders.
Flock positions its solutions as both a crime deterrent and an investigative tool, helping neighborhood associations and local law enforcement stop and solve crimes.
In the interest of privacy protection, the company says that its customers own their data. Flock Safety’s CEO, Garrett Langley, told the Richmond Standard that Flock has “no [right] to view, sell, or re-purpose this footage.”
That might not be enough to assuage well-founded public concerns about the emergence of omnipresent, AI-powered video surveillance. After all, terms like “safety” and “protection” carry an ominous implication: that there’s something or someone out there one needs to be protected from. This can cause some problems.
The Outline’s Drew Millard picked up our initial coverage of the company, which he colorfully characterized as a “Snitching-ass startup,” back in September. Millard writes that “giving affluent neighborhoods a bunch of data about potential criminals without the training to understand it can actually undermine an area’s safety — especially for minorities.”
The tech might be used to prosecute crimes like small-time theft, vandalism, or leaving dog poop to fester. For now. Domestic surveillance tech presents a long and very slippery slope which might only leave a privileged few feeling safe.
Crunchbase News reached out to the company seeking comment. The company did not respond prior to publication, but we will update this article if and when we hear back.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias