Are Americans ready to buy from Ukrainian Startups? Camdog: A video surveillance service for small and medium businesses that stores recordings in the cloud
Each of us has ideas that we develop over a long period of time and hope that time will turn them into reality. Dmytro Usenko, CEO of the Ukrainian startup Camdog, did not wait. He jumped to implementing his plan on the first opportunity. In this article, you will learn how Camdog videos help businesses in court and how storing them in the cloud reassures potential customers.
CEO and founder: Dmytro Usenko
Year of founding: 2019
After graduating from university, Dmytro Usenko immediately started working on his own software development and outsourcing company. Building on his experience with US customers, creating his own product was the next logical stage for his career: “Outsourcing is monotonous and boring, only lazy founders won’t consider building something of their own at least once in their life. Products that you create yourself are much more interesting, and the financial returns are completely different,” says Dmytro.
“Outsourcing gave me important basic knowledge and skills that came in handy while working on my new startup. First, we analyzed all similar companies that already were working in the market we targeted and confirmed that customer research was one of the most important steps when starting a company,” continues Dmytro.
After the research, it became clear what competitors’ weaknesses were how they priced their products, and how Camdog’s services should differ from theirs. In the end, Dmytro decided on the scope for his product — a video surveillance service aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, which automatically saves video recordings in the Google Cloud and provides essential business features.
Storing video in the cloud is very useful to SMBs because in case of a fire, robbery, or any other emergency if the camera is destroyed, the video will not be affected. Surveillance videos preserved in the cloud are even accepted as evidence in court and by insurance companies. That is why having such a system is critical to prevent and respond to accidents.
Besides, Camdog can perform video analytics and show where customers often stop in the store, what products they pay attention to, and other details beneficial for businesses. The service also has functionality familiar to buyers of consumer-oriented security cameras. For example, if the service detects suspicious activity, it will send a security notification to the owner.
Although Camdog is aimed at US users, you can buy it anywhere, and the standard price for one camera starts at $50. Even though it is pretty tricky for Ukrainian companies to enter the US market, Dmytro believes that expanding in the US is possible and the best way to reach a global audience.
Gaining the trust of US customers
Camdog sells its products through American resellers and this helps avoiding unnecessary concerns from users. Sometimes, when users learn that the service is developed in Ukraine they raise questions related to the safety of their personal data. That is why Camdog processes and saves videos in Google Cloud in one of their US regions and personal information does not leave the United States.
In the future, Dmytro dreams of opening an office in the United States and having a separate sales team that would communicate with customers without a language barrier. “A local sales office would allow us to look for new customers without using resellers”, says Dmytro.
The benefits of acceleration programs
After graduating from the startup accelerator by Starta Ventures at the end of 2020, Dmytro understood where to go next and how to organize business processes: “It was an unreal experience! It even seems to me that the program has changed my worldview. Talking to young startups that are passionate about their ideas motivated us to continue developing our own ideas,” admits Dmytro.
Today, the Camdog team is actively looking for investors to start building the US office. The funding amount they are looking for ranges from $ 500,000 to $ 1 million. These funds will help the startup to move forward on their US office idea and find new customers.
In the long run, Camdog wants to work not only with businesses but also with consumers. This will increase the total addressable market for Camdog significantly because many in the US live in private homes and need a reliable security system. By expanding from B2B to B2C, Camdog will have a much higher chance of becoming a global leader in video surveillance.
Video interview with Dmytro Usenko (rus).
Are Americans ready to buy from Ukrainian Startups? Camdog: A video surveillance service for small and medium businesses that stores recordings in the cloud.