Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Companies: Solink showing the way in video surveillance software

Solink’s Cory Michalyshyn and Mike Matta
Solink’s Cory Michalyshyn and Mike Matta. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Each year, OBJ recognizes the region’s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the city’s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year. The companies will be profiled online in the coming days and recognized at a cocktail reception on May 24 at You.i TV headquarters in Kanata. Click here for more information on the event.

His firm’s cutting-edge video surveillance software has captured the attention of high-profile investors and an expanding base of customers, but Solink CEO Mike Matta is not about to rest on his laurels.

“The business itself is healthy,” he says. “It’s really just how can we light a fire to take advantage of the opportunity that’s ahead of us.”

Kanata-based Solink makes software that uses artificial intelligence to analyze security footage at restaurants, retail outlets and banks in an effort to detect fraud and theft.

The company’s solution works by segmenting videos to help users pinpoint where suspicious behaviours occur. The software taps directly into point-of-sale platforms, keeping a second-by-second account of all sales activity that can be instantly synched with accompanying security footage.

When a cashier rings through a returned pair of jeans, for example, video can identify the clothing sliding back across the counter at the time of the transaction. But if that pattern was disrupted – for instance, the transaction is logged but no jeans were seen – then a store owner would be alerted to potential fraud.

Customers have been eager to jump on board – Solink is now working with more than 30 major brands that have installed its technology in thousands of stores. The firm employs 42 people, up from 27 a year ago, and its revenues have increased nearly 675 per cent in three years.

But Matta and his team say they’ve only scratched the surface of their product’s potential.  

Fastest Growing Companies: Solink

Year founded: 2009
Local headcount: 42
Product or service: Data analytics software focused on security applications
Three-year revenue growth: 673.5%
2018 ranking: #5

Last year, Solink closed a $5-million funding round that featured heavy-hitting venture capital firms from Canada and south of the border. Much of that VC haul is being poured into R&D aimed at expanding the software’s capabilities.

Matta says the technology could help employers track workers’ movements via video, for example, and use that data to find ways of making employees more efficient. The software could also be used to quickly determine which car ordered first in a two-lane drive-through.

Solink’s CEO says the technology could also provide a valuable window into consumer spending patterns to help its customers identify up-selling opportunities.

For instance, if surveillance footage consistently shows a customer in a particular vehicle ordering a doughnut with his double-double, a cashier can be alerted to that preference and remind him to purchase a sweet treat to go along with his morning java.

While the vast majority of spending in the video surveillance industry is on fancy hardware, Matta says the real opportunity lies in the footage itself.

“People get so much (video) information, and there’s no way for them to bubble up what’s most important,” he says. “How do we take some of the more innovative ideas and things that we’re doing and scale them?”

Down the road, he sees Solink expanding its customer base to include airports, casinos and other markets. Last year, Matta told OBJ the company is aiming to hit the $100-million mark in annual revenues within five years.

“We’re trying to build a company that is going to be here for the long haul,” he said.