Video analytics and platform provider Duranc has chosen Helsinki as the location for its brand-new European headquarters and R&D unit. Helsinki Business Hub helped the company connect with local partners and service providers and hosted its initial visits to Finland, acquainting the company with the Finnish business ecosystem. Duranc intends to access the larger European market through its new Helsinki unit.
Founded in January 2017, Duranc already operates on two continents, employing some 25 people. The company’s roots are in the United States, where it has its main development team, and it has a field testing center in India. This is about to change, though, as Duranc is in the process of setting up its main R&D unit in Helsinki and landing on a third continent.
Duranc’s solution is a video management and analytics platform that enables services based on artificial intelligence to any organization utilizing video cameras. The company can tap into its clients’ video feeds and offer them video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), hosted video as a service, IP camera hosting, cloud security camera services, and cloud-based video surveillance.
“We can help clients with security services, delivery tracking to ensure the consistent quality of delivered products, construction site surveillance to prevent theft, employee tracking to maximize productivity, and customer tracking to collect and analyze data on customers and demand. There are millions of cameras in the world. We help clients utilize their existing cameras without any need for infrastructure changes,” says CEO and Co-founder Ramesh Kasetty from Duranc.
Most of Duranc’s clients operate in four fields: trade shows, retail, educational institutions, and construction sites. The company’s main target are small and medium-sized businesses. Video management and analytics technology is still relatively new, but it is becoming increasingly attractive because of the availability of infrastructure, i.e. better cameras and internet connections.
“High quality cameras have made it possible to analyze video footage. End-users are also starting to realize the need to use and analyze video to better understand their business and to improve it.”
Following funding and skilled workforce to Finland
What initially drove Duranc to look beyond the US and India was a need for public funding. A consultant gave the company three top options in terms of raising capital from governmental institutions. They were Finland, Singapore and Belgium.
“Skilled labor tipped the scale in Finland’s favor. It has one of the best education systems in the world and lots of people with college degrees. That was another thing we were looking for outside the US and India. After choosing Finland, Helsinki was the ideal city for us because it’s so well connected and has a large talent pool,” Kasetty says.
Duranc was introduced to Helsinki Business Hub by the latter’s Indian partner PrEver. Helsinki Business Hub hosted Duranc on its introductory visits to Finland, acquainting the company with various potential partners and events. These included Business Finland, VTT, Aalto University, Espoo Innovation Garden, key recruiting companies, accounting companies and banks, and the KAATO event.
“Helsinki Business Hub put us in touch with the right people, which is important when you are entering an unfamiliar country. It was also important to meet local organizations and people in person and learn to understand the culture. Landing in Finland has been straightforward and easy.”
Duranc’s need for public funding has also been resolved. Business Finland selected Duranc as one of the few foreign-owned companies among the thousands of applicants and recipients of its business funding this year. The company now intends to concentrate on developing its solution utilizing cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence, advanced data analytics and machine learning.
US-based company with technology developed in Finland
Duranc’s Finnish unit is now registered and recruiting. It has already hired two people and will soon hire two more. The company plans to make the new unit its main R&D center – hence the meetings with recruiting companies.
“We’ll see how things evolve but we’re hoping to hire 20–25 people in the next couple of years. We are looking for people with PhD degrees, and there are not too many people like that available globally,” Kasetty says.
Duranc plans to keep its US and Indian units. The two countries will remain its core target markets while it will also start working on the European market. A presence in Finland will help the company reach out to potential European clients.
“In the future, we may also consider setting up a support center in Finland, because the time zone is conveniently between India and the US,” says Kasetty.
“Although the Finnish unit will at least initially concentrate on product development, it will also benefit marketing. A US-based company with technology developed in Finland is a strong combination.”
Text: Anu Jussila
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