Startups to Watch: Solink creates smart security

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Solink was founded with the goal of reducing ATM fraud by using security camera footage – traditionally only reviewed after a theft had taken place – to detect suspicious activity as it happens.

Michael Matta is the CEO of Solink.

By Jacob Serebrin

The company developed a computer program that analyzes data from the bank’s security cameras in conjunction with transaction records, says Solink CEO Michael Matta.

The idea is to find situations where the two data sources don’t match. A man standing in front of an ATM for several minutes wouldn’t necessarily set off alarm bells. But the Solink system would notice if, for example, that same individual withdrew money from three different accounts during his visit.

The company is looking to expand its presence in the banking sector beyond security, while simultaneously moving into retail and military intelligence industries. The latter application is still in the early stages and is focused on capitalizing on the technology’s capability to read licence plates and track a vehicle as it moves from checkpoint to checkpoint.

Retailers, meanwhile, can use the solution to detect fraud such as “phantom transactions.” For example, if a cashier is processing returns but the security cameras don’t detect any customers, the Solink system would trigger an alert.

“Globally, there’s about a trillion hours of video that’s recorded annually,” says Mr. Matta, adding that his company proactively uses those recordings.

“We’re constantly mining the information,” he says, trying to find “what are the events that are relevant.”

You can’t go into Youtube and just search for a red truck. Michael Matta, CEO of Solink

That ability to combine video data with other sources of information is particularly important, says Mr. Matta.

While it looks for new markets, the company is also exploring ways of increasing its presence with existing financial services companies.

“Banking is a sweet spot for us (and) it extends beyond security and fraud,” says Mr. Matta.

He explains that a bank used the system to evaluate the success of touchscreen devices it installed within branches to try to increase the number of appointments.

The Solink system could answer questions such as: who is going there? How long do they stay? Are they accompanied by a bank rep? How far do they get in the process of booking an appointment?

“All these data mining techniques are used in the online world,” he says, adding that he wants to apply them to the world of brick-and-mortar businesses.

Founded: 2009

Head count: 13 full-time; in the process of hiring five additional employees

Funding: Seed funding from Wesley Clover

Clients: Banks, retailers

Product: Contextual analytics for video

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