founder

CAMDOG Founder Dmytro Usenko Is Bringing Security to Small Businesses

Introduction

Safety is equally important to businesses and individuals. Although the rate of property crimes in the United States has been decreasing for decades, violent crimes have been on the rise in recent years. While large corporations can invest large sums into security, smaller businesses may not be able to afford expensive security systems.

CAMDOG has designed an affordable artificial intelligence security system that can work together with existing CCTV cameras. It’s easy to use and can even predict crimes before they occur, potentially saving property and lives. We reached out to founder and CEO Dmytro Usenko to learn why the company decided to try crowdfunding and how Camdog might be applied to schools in the future.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Olivia Strobl

Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?

Dmytro Usenko

CAMDOG helps customers to minimize their losses, prevent intrusions, and add additional value to their CCTV cameras. We offer a cloud-based video monitoring solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) at an affordable price. Our business model is a monthly subscription.

Our solution is cloud-based with lifetime data storage. It reduces initial investment for customers. We started selling last January, and to date, we have more than 100 paying users and approximately $12,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and we are running several beta trials with Midwest security companies.

Olivia Strobl

What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?

Dmytro Usenko

I used CCTV cameras before for business use as well as for home and saw that most business solutions are too hard to understand. Also, you need a good computer to use this software and store data. The home system was awful as well. Usually, you have only one option: to see bad-quality livestreams and store data on unknown Chinese servers.

I thought, “What the hell? I am the owner of a computer vision software development agency, and we have several years of expertise in video, video analytics, and so on. I should solve this problem, create a product that will be very easy to understand, and add powerful video analytics, which would help other owners to prevent losing money.” I discussed it with my development manager and my tech lead, and we started the development of CAMDOG!

Olivia Strobl

What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?

Dmytro Usenko

I am a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of expertise. My background is in management and sales. I created and sold two software development agencies before and am the founder of ProVision Lab – a software development agency that operated in the computer vision area. So I clearly understood what we planned to create and so on.

Olivia Strobl

What is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?

Dmytro Usenko

The era of old analog equipment – door cameras and so on — is coming to an end. Over the past two years, America has been completely re-equipping with new digital equipment and moving to cloud storage and processing systems. They provide unseen opportunities for scaling, ease of installation, and management. The market is growing by 25% per year. We can’t miss the moment and will capture our share of the market segment.

Olivia Strobl

Who is on your team and how did you come together?

Dmytro Usenko

Our team is built from all different backgrounds but from one niche. We have expertise in computer vision and software development! We’ve put together a world-class team of software developers to bring together all of the cutting-edge features we plan to incorporate into the CAMDOG system. Besides that, we have two talented salespeople who help with sales and got on board our incredible advisor, Andrea Legnani, who helps with networking.

Olivia Strobl

Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?

Dmytro Usenko

Sure, we have. We have well known and honored giants like Ring, ADT, or Google. But they operate in the mass-market segment of the video surveillance market. In any case, they also affect the industry. If we are talking about companies closer to us, those are Verkada, Milestone Systems, and Avigilon. These guys are also honored competitors. But they like a huge check. They see to the enterprise segment only. We chose the SMB niche and plan to operate here.

Our competitive advantages are the following: 

The first is the ease of use and versatility. We have a user-friendly interface, and we support more than 20,000 different camera models.

Second, we combined our video management system and video analytics in one solution and created enterprise-level software for the SMB sector. Our solution is cloud-based with lifetime data storage. It reduces initial investment for customers. And we have different plans to fit the budgets of small to medium businesses.

Olivia Strobl

What does your business model look like?

Dmytro Usenko

We launched as a free platform back in September 2020 and started selling last January. We provide a monthly subscription. Customers can choose from several plans that fit their budget.

Olivia Strobl

What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

Dmytro Usenko

Frankly, one of the previous investors suggested it. He said that instead of money, this is a cool opportunity to find new clients and spread the word about my team through more people. And this is the easiest way to do it. Our round is focused on scaling our power resources to new ones.

Olivia Strobl

What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

Dmytro Usenko

These are my top six reasons to invest in CAMDOG:

1) We didn’t create a new Clubhouse or another copy of Uber or Shopify for Indonesia. We created a security-related product that helps customers to solve their security pains with our passive and proactive security services. I think this is a pretty serious global problem, and you can help us develop and provide people with better services.

2) We had an excellent start this year and grew from $10 in January to $12,000 in MRR in December.

3) Unlike our competitors, we are not inert. We are not sinking in bureaucracy. We are flexible and can change our product on the fly and provide new modules that will be helpful to narrow niches. 

4) We plan to release next year our unique module that helps with bullying detection and prevention. This is a very serious problem for modern US schools. And we will be happy to help with it as much as possible. So your support will help us with it.

5) We have good finances. We don’t have a multi-million dollar debt and so on. So we plan to be a profitable company next year. That significantly helps us on our way to Round A.

6) We have a low 1.6 risk rating on KingsCrowd! 

Olivia Strobl

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?

Dmytro Usenko

I see an acquisition by one of the giants like Google or AWS as a cool opportunity further on.

We look forward to seeing where Dmytro and his team take the company. CAMDOG is currently raising on Wefunder.

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About: Olivia Strobl

Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.

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