Gabriel’s Urban Intelligence Initiative: Improving Neighborhood Safety in Latin America

Erick Coser and Otávio Costa Miranda moved back to Brazil in 2019 to solve a large, yet unsolved problem in Latin America. Meanwhile in São Paulo, that is one camera per thousand people. Coser and Costa Miranda drew on the experiences of Europe to create Gabriel in 2020. The company integrates cameras and computer vision with routine police operations to address public safety challenges across Latin America. That walks side-by-side with strong investments in the takeover of São Paulo in 2024 and preparations for launching new cities in 2025.”

Erick Coser and Otávio Costa Miranda made a bold move in 2019 when they decided to return to their home country of Brazil. Their goal? To tackle a major, yet unresolved issue in Latin America.

Both Coser and Costa Miranda had previous experience in building companies that focused on solving urban problems. After identifying a gap in the realm of safety and information sharing, they knew they had found their next big challenge.

“Brazilian citizens are already some of the world’s top acquirers of private CCTV systems, which is easy to notice as one walks around the streets of Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo,” Costa Miranda shared via email with TechCrunch.

“At the same time, Brazilian cities have some of the lowest numbers of cameras per thousand citizens. This is a key indicator of how well-monitored a city is,” he continued.

Costa Miranda went on to explain that cities like New York and Los Angeles boast approximately 10 cameras per 1,000 people, while in London, the number jumps to over 60 cameras. In stark contrast, São Paulo only has one camera for every thousand people. Despite this low ratio, Costa Miranda declared São Paulo as “Brazil’s best-monitored city.”

Interestingly, instead of relying on a centralized surveillance system, citizens in São Paulo have created their own decentralized network. However, this network is made up of cheap and outdated cameras that do little to assist police officers investigating crimes.

This is where Coser and Costa Miranda drew inspiration from Europe and created Gabriel in 2020. This company integrates cameras and computer vision with routine police operations, aimed at addressing public safety issues across Latin America.

According to Costa Miranda, Gabriel is currently building what he calls “Latin America’s largest urban intelligence infrastructure.” This is accomplished by installing and connecting proprietary smart cameras, called “Chameleons,” in the homes and businesses of subscribers, allowing them to monitor the streets. The data extracted from these images is then made available to authorities. Typical subscribers include private citizens and homeowner associations.

“In the last three years, we have successfully established the densest network of cameras in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo,” Costa Miranda stated.

Currently, the company has thousands of smart cameras in operation. Gabriel boasts that their network has helped police officers identify an average of six crimes per day, an impressive five times increase in the past 12 months alone.

Over the course of the past year, Gabriel has transformed from a business with a negative gross margin to one with margins similar to those of a Software as a Service (SaaS) company. In addition, they have also increased their average ticket price and doubled their revenue compared to the previous year.

Today, Gabriel announced that they have raised $7 million in new funding, with a round co-led by Qualcomm Ventures and Astella. Existing investors such as SoftBank, Canary, LTS, Globo Ventures, Norte, and Endeavor also took part in this round of funding.

Looking forward, Coser and Costa Miranda plan to use this new investment to further develop their technology, ensuring that security business owners, governments, agents, and third-party providers can operate Gabriel’s system on a self-serve basis.

“Our goal of making Latin America a safer place is a huge, bold bet,” Coser wrote in an email. “To achieve this, we still have a lot of work to do, including building a world-class video monitoring system and implementing city-wide abnormalities detection and dispatch. This system must be fully interoperable with our hardware, easy to set up, and affordable for our subscribers. This also goes hand in hand with our strong investments in taking over São Paulo by 2024 and preparing to launch in new cities by 2025.”

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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