Robot surveillance firm lands £2.3m investment after moving to Sheffield

A company that trains CCTV systems to spot odd behaviour has landed a £2.3m investment after moving to Sheffield due to its booming video game sector.

By David Walsh
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 9:23 am

Mindtech Global completed the funding round two months after making its new base, at Sheffield Technology Park on Arundel Street, company headquarters.

Now it wants to expand worldwide sales and build its 20-strong team.

The firm is advertising several jobs in Sheffield including technical artist and engineers in unity development roles, customer solutions and user experience posts.

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Digital people in digital scenarios created by Mindtech to train CCTV surveillance robots to spot odd behaviour.

Chief executive Steve Harris said they were attracted by the wealth of skills in the region’s growing game development sector.

But it will have competition for workers. Only last month video games company Sumo Digital was snapped up by Chinese firm Tencent for £919m.

Sumo, which has 14 studios in five countries, has more than 170 vacancies, almost a quarter at its headquarters in Sheffield.

Mr Harris added: “This funding round will enable us to open up our platform to even more customers in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, enabling them to build artificial intelligence vision solutions that better understand the way humans interact with each other and the world around them.”

Mindtech CEO Steve Harris.

AI systems can be ‘trained’ to spot unusual behaviour on CCTV, such as someone acting shifty in a shop, or if a care home resident has fallen over, or if a child has slipped their parent’s hand in a supermarket.

It usually requires thousands of images to be processed, which is expensive, time-consuming and – where photos of people are involved – can also create problems with privacy and bias.

Mindtech’s software cuts costs and training time by creating digital people and scenarios. They are used alongside a small percentage of genuine photos for best results.

The company was launched in 2017 and has a base in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. It says it already has large corporate customers in the security, retail and the ‘smart home’ sectors.

The investmnet was led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, with Deeptech Labs and In-Q-Tel participating.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.