IU Ventures has invested $250,000 in Qumulex, a company poised to transform the video surveillance and access control industry by unifying video surveillance and access control with cloud storage and accessibility. The investment is part of a Series Seed II funding round.
Qumulex is developing a platform of security solutions, including both hardware and software, for the owners of commercial properties such as office buildings, shopping centers, hospitals and more. Incorporated in 2018 by industry veterans, Qumulex is led by a team that has worked together since the early 2000s to grow and successfully exit two previous companies in the video surveillance and physical security industry.
"Qumulex has several IU alumni on its team, including Nick Ball as vice president of finance and Jerry Fath as chief software architect," said Katherine Moynihan, associate vice president of IU Ventures. "The opportunity to support alumni-driven innovation was a key driver in our decision to invest in Qumulex. Additionally, their past business successes at key moments of technological change in the commercial security market inspire every confidence in their capability."
Dan Rittman, Qumulex CEO, shared the story of the team's past developments to describe why Qumulex makes sense today. Integral Technologies, the group's first enterprise, helped property owners transition their security from VCR recording to hard drives. Their next project, Exacq Technologies, was created when cameras went from analog to digital. And today, Qumulex is developing software because property owners need security footage and other details to be stored and analyzed in the cloud rather than using on-premises servers.
"The physical security market, due to it being a life-safety offering, has always been slower to migrate to cutting-edge technologies," Rittman said. "Plus, there's a growing demand for the flexibility of browser-based models and subscription services. And, with household products like Ring and Nest, there are also new expectations around physical security products."
Ball said that with the combined community resources being shared, the future of Central Indiana's tech community looks bright.
"Indiana University is a great source of talent; the informatics program is especially great. We want to cultivate a pipeline of well-educated people who want to stay in Central Indiana and do cool stuff," Ball said. "Working with the IU Ventures team to do that so far has been a pleasure, and we look forward to what comes next."
Based on their past ventures, Qumulex hopes to double in size to more than 30 employees by early 2021. Since it was incorporated in 2018, it has grown from seven to 15 employees. Tom Buckley, the company's vice president of sales and marketing, said that establishing the headquarters at the Indiana IoT Lab in Fishers made this growth easier.
"Moving in, there was no lease negotiation or buildout. We've expanded four times since we've been here, and it's been easy to grow without a big investment while still having a beautiful space to meet with vendors or investors. It sharpens our credibility without a big expense."
The Indiana IoT Lab was an essential part of Qumulex's connection with IU Ventures as well. It was there that the team first met Teri Willey, the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund manager and executive director of IU Ventures.
"Those kinds of organic connections within the tech community are part of our main mission," said John Wechsler, CEO and founder of the Indiana IoT Lab. "That mission is part of why IU Ventures is also a proud sponsor of the IoT Lab."
"The space isn't just here as an incubator for innovation, but also as an accelerator where many people working in the same direction can all go further, faster," Moynihan said. "We look forward to seeing Qumulex and many other current and future companies grow and thrive in the space."
About IU Ventures
IU Ventures is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering Indiana University faculty, alumni and friends to support and invest in IU-affiliated innovation. Through three programs (the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, the IU Angel Network and The Quarry), IU Ventures works to provide opportunities for individuals affiliated with IU to network with fellow entrepreneurs; build innovative new businesses; and support growing enterprises through donations, investments, time and talents.