South Australian angel investor group SA Angels has invested more than $100,000 into tech start-up Snap Network Surveillance, a business estimated to be worth around $1 million.
Snap was established in 2009 at the Australian Centre for Visual Studies at the University of Adelaide, where Snap co-founder Dr Anton Van den Hengel engineered technology to manage large-scale CCTV networks.
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The technology, which incorporates thousands of cameras, helps camera operators track a target from camera to camera as it moves through the network.
The software works by understanding how each camera is supported by adjacent cameras and facilitates automated tracking and evidence collation.
Although Snap could not be reached for comment, SA Angels chairman Michael Dilettoso says the group has invested more than $100,000 into the business.
SA Angels will take a 10% share in the business, and one of the group’s members will also sit on the board of Snap.
Dilettoso says Snap was an ideal opportunity for Adelaide investors to support local entrepreneurs in the tech sector, stating South Australia has “tremendous potential” for innovative technology.
Founded in Adelaide in 2008, SA Angels meets regularly to source and evaluate South Australian companies seeking funds and expertise to commercialise their ideas.
SA Angels consists of around 18 members, who are sourced for their investing clout, experience and contacts.
Dilettoso says the group was formed to grant start-ups adequate funding because “getting that from a financial institution is like getting blood from a stone”.
He says one of the group’s members, Jonathan Whalley, was working with the University of Adelaide and sought to guide Snap through to the development stage.
“One of the advantages of having an [SA] angel working with the company was that he ensured the structure was easy to invest in – it was effectively clean,” Dilettoso says.
“Having mum, dad and 30 of their friends put in $30 each means the business is structured in a way that makes it hard to put in ‘professional’ money.”
“We’re interested in the exit, so we need to make sure the structure is clean not only for us but for when someone else wants to take over.”
Dilettoso says Snap stood out because it had a good idea of what it could offer to the market, how it would get it there, and how it would work towards an exit strategy.
“They also had quite a good demo. They showed us what they did and how it worked, which was quite impressive,” he says.
Dilettoso says SA Angels has invested in everything from cricket bats, power boards and building materials to business ideas that are either IT, software or web-based.