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Flock Safety, License Plate Reading Startup, Raises $150M

The company has been growing very quickly, reaching its Series D and operating in 40 states within four years of its founding. With a mountain of cash at its disposal, it plans on growing further.

Flock Safety license plate reader
Flock Safety
Flock Safety, a startup that provides law enforcement and homeowners’ associations with license plate reader cameras, has raised a massive $150 million investment round.

The company has been growing quickly — since its founding in 2017 it already operates in more than 1,200 cities in 40 states. This is Flock Safety’s Series D round, and brings its total fundraising amount to more than $230 million, according to Crunchbase.

According to its website, Flock Safety sells cameras with an intentionally narrow field of view — its motion detection works up to 75 feet from the device, covering an area about 20 feet wide at that distance. The camera logs license plates and allows users to search for vehicles by a variety of criteria such as color, type, make, license plate, state, features on the vehicle and whether its license plate is covered up. The cameras are battery-powered and include solar panels.

To address privacy concerns, the company deletes images after 30 days. That’s a best practice recommended by the Policing Project when it studied license plate readers at the request of Axon in 2019.

In a press release, the company said it doesn’t use facial recognition and that its cameras aren’t used for traffic or immigration enforcements.

"Four years ago, we started Flock Safety with a simple mission, to eliminate crime. We knew it would take neighborhoods and businesses working together with law enforcement and city leaders if we truly were to solve this problem,” said CEO and founder Garrett Langley in the statement. “This capital will help us accelerate product development and expand our team to support every city across the country. Together, we will reduce crime in our communities."

Andreessen Horowitz led the funding round, with participation from previous investors Meritech, Bedrock, Initialized and Matrix Partners. Matrix, Meritech and Andreessen Horowitz will all take a seat on the company’s board.
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