Smartfrog Seeks Cash to Rival Google's Home Security Cameras

  • Startup's cameras compete with products from Google's Nest
  • `We want to be the European market leader,' co-founder says

Smartfrog Ltd., a startup that seeks to rival Google’s cameras to make mobile home surveillance available to the masses, is in talks for its second financing round this year.

Smartfrog, with 50 employees and offices in Berlin, Ireland, Switzerland and China, is in final discussions to secure more funding from investors including EVenture Capital Partners, which injected several million euros into the company earlier this year, said Chief Executive Officer Andreas Rudyk. It’s also talking to Amazon.com Inc. to possibly expand its retail partnership with the vendor, he said.

"We want to be the European market leader,” Rudyk, who co-founded the company last year, said by phone.

Smartfrog is challenging the likes of Google’s Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. as companies seek to lure more consumers to connected, intelligent devices such as home cameras that stream live footage to your mobile phone via the Internet. After Nest joined Google last year, the company bought security startup Dropcam for about $550 million, and in June released a $199 home security camera and a video storage and management service for $10 a month.

Smartfrog in October started offering its HD camera, mobile app and 24-hour video storage for 5.95 euros ($6.35) a month. The camera, which sells for 149 euros via stores including Amazon, features a motion detector, a night vision mode, a microphone and a speaker so users can talk to their pet or grandmother from afar. 

Customers can also download the app for free and use an old mobile phone or webcam to record -- a move the company hopes will make the solution popular in emerging economies including India. The product has sold to customers in 57 countries, Rudyk said. He declined to give concrete sales numbers.

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