ShotSpotter gets $10M to locate gunfire

Faith Merino · June 16, 2011 · Short URL:

The company gets support from existing investors to help responders locate gunshots and explosions


ShotSpotter, a developer of acoustic surveillance technology to locate gunshots and other explosions, on Thursday announced the close of a $10 million round of funding from existing investors City Light Capital, Claremont Creek Ventures, Labrador Ventures, Lauder Partners, Levensohn Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and The Westly Group.

Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, ShotSpotter’s unique technology uses a network of acoustic sensors to detect gunfire and other types of explosions. When three or more sensors detect an explosion, data is automatically transmitted back to ShotSpotter’s patented location software, which identifies the event as either gunfire, an explosion, fireworks, or a non-threatening sound.

And the data that is transmitted is quite comprehensive, including not only the nearest street address and time of the event, but what type of event it was (gunfire, explosion, fireworks, etc.), audio clip, and the path of travel, in case the shooter was mobile.

The software is able to provide an accurate location for responders by triangulating the sensors, providing an exact location and the nearest address. Additionally, every day sounds such as car backfires, dump trucks, and nail guns are filtered out so that responders aren’t constantly running out on false alarms. And all data is logged into a historical database for later analysis and review, and for possible use during investigations and prosecutions.

So with all those sensors lying around, does that mean that police can listen in on the locals’ conversations? The company says no; the sensors are designed to pick up on very loud, impulsive sounds that the human voice can’t reach, so there is no risk of invading residents’ privacy.

“ShotSpotter is in an excellent position to capitalize on the global demand for technology solutions focused on security and safety,” said Pascal Levensohn, Managing Partner of Levensohn Venture Partners and chairman of the board of ShotSpotter.

The company plans to use the new funds to reinvent ShotSpotter’s technology into a new domestic public safety Platform-as-a-Service delivery model, as well as boost the market dominance of its flagship product, the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System. 

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