Thursday, 8 March 2007

Real Deals reports on

Here is another story about our company, this time from Real Deals, a fortnightly magazine that covers European private equity and venture capital news, comment, features and analysis, aimed at venture capitalists, investment bankers, lawyers, accountants, directors, and entrepreneurs.

08 March 2007

Cambridge-based start-up AlertMe has raised £5m ($7.4m) first round funding from Tudor Investment Group.

AlertMe is developing a next-generation home security product that will use broadband internet and mobile technology to connect people to their homes and alert them remotely to fire or unauthorised entry.

The company is due to start piloting the technology in the Cambridge area in summer 2007, with a national launch towards the end of the year.

"Interesting radio technologies such as Zigbee are really coming of age now, and enough people (45 per cent of the UK population) are using broadband to use this to update traditional alarm systems, said AlertMe co-founder Adrian Critchlow.

"Less than two per cent of households have monitored alarm systems, and even those that do rarely have a good word to say about their provider, suggesting this is an industry ripe for change."

AlertMe was seed funded by its founders, repeat entrepreneurs Critchlow and Pilgrim Beart. Critchlow is the founder of Active Hotels, which was sold to Priceline for £90m in 2004, generating a 16 times return for its seed investors. Beart has also founded three start-ups.

The pair had been talking with angel investors and VCs, but according to Critchlow, "none were as proactive as Tudor".

"They were prepared to seek us out and listen to our business plan. We got their term sheet in a few days and closed within weeks," he said.

"Some people have suggested that a hedge fund is just 'dumb money' but that isn't the case at all - they were very well informed, and asked all the right questions, digging into the technology and what we are doing."

AlertMe, which was founded in April 2006, has a team of 15, comprising software and network developers, and a commercial team, many of which were recruited from Cambridge University.