IPO Watch: iCetana heads to the ASX to fund global rollout of its AI-based video surveillance platform
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A new tech entrant is set to join the ASX boards, with video analytics company iCetana set to list by year-end.
The company is looking to raise $5m from investors at 20c per share at an indicative market capitalisation of $27.5m. CEO Matthew Macfarlane is meeting with investors this week, with a targeted listing date of December 18.
The platform applies patented AI software on video surveillance systems, which highlight abnormal patterns and increase the success rate of real-time response solutions.
iCetana now has its software platform installed on around 10,000 cameras across 35 sites globally. And while Macfarlane only rejoined the company as CEO in 2018, the company is almost 10 years old.
It was initially founded as a spin-out from computer science research operations at WA’s Curtin University — a domestic example of tertiary research being converted into a commercial application.
Speaking with Stockhead, Macfarlane said the company was focused on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business for its anomaly-detecting algorithm.
“We’re a software company, we don’t build the camera hardware. Our software is installed onto the network and picks up the feed from each camera,” he explained.
“Over a two-week period, it learns visual patterns detected by those cameras and segments the data into normal and abnormal movements. To do that it tracks pixels, so it’s broader than say, individual human movements. It’s like movement direction on steroids.”
Macfarlane said standard surveillance systems required operators to manually monitor around 60 per cent of what’s captured. But using iCetana’s AI software, that number falls drastically.
“It’s nice to have an extra level of clarity, where 99 per cent of activity is considered normal and you can focus on the 1 per cent of abnormal patterns in real time.”
Having been successfully commercialised from university research, the tertiary sector now represents one of iCetana’s more significant customer verticals.
Clients across other sectors include Crown Casino and the Emirates-based Majid al Futtaim shopping centre group.
“We’ve also just closed a deal with Memorial Sloan Kettering, which is a cancer hospital based in New York City,” Macfarlane said. And the company is in discussions with different prison administrations after running a demonstration of its tech at a Tasmanian jail.
All up, iCetana says active deal-flow has increased from around 50 at the start of the year to more than 250. And deploying public funds will be critical in converting those leads to customers.
In recent years the company has pivoted away from an enterprise software strategy (with high up-front costs), to a SaaS platform operating with a fee-per-camera model.
“Now it’s all about getting our partnership capabilities up to speed,” Macfarlane said.
“We’ve got a great partnership with Chubb Security in the Australian market and one of the largest security contract networks in Canada, [and] a strong university network. So it’s about creating a value-add proposition for our resellers to convert new customers globally.”
The company also plans to deploy some funds raised on product development, to increase the effectiveness of data analytics on the “1 per cent” pattern anomalies detected by the software.
“Our operating mantra is that it’s time for surveillance to get in real-time,” Macfarlane says.
“There’s a lot of monitoring systems out there — the average person would probably pass through five or 10 different surveillance networks just on their way to the office.”
“Would it be recorded? Yeah. But none of those cameras would be watched in real time. So if there’s an incident, it’s very unlikely that a fast-action response would come from the use of those cameras. We want to change that, and change that around the world.”