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Ten out of ten for Paul Singh’s Y3K

Formed 23 years ago, Y3K has consistently been a prominent presence in the UK security industry. Many in the industry will have come across the company at various exhibitions, sparking curiosity about its history and operations. Roy Cooper, Managing Director of the industry-leading Professional Security Magazine met with Y3K’s founder, Paul Singh, at a local golf club to discuss the company’s journey and its aspirations, and Paul’s recent invitation to No 10.

How he started

Paul embarked on his career in CCTV in 1989, installing Phillips CCTV observation kits across London. He began with a south London CCTV installation company. In 1994, he took the entrepreneurial plunge by launching his own installation company. After bagging a significant national installation contract for a leading UK retailer, he sold his business to a larger competitor in 1997. Paul reminisces: “At 25, after selling my first business, I felt like a millionaire, dreaming of early retirement. However, two years later, having depleted the funds, I realised retirement might need to be postponed.”


During a 1999 trip to Taiwan, Paul identified an opportunity that would change the course of his career. He discovered an early prototype of an infrared LED night vision camera. “Throughout my years of camera installations, the sheer size, weight and cost of IR lamps frustrated me. It felt like there had to be a better way,” Paul explains. He then invested months into perfecting this technology, eventually pioneering the IR LED bullet camera - something that may be commonplace today, yet was a significant leap forward at the time.


Paul’s ambition stretched beyond mere technological advancement; he envisioned the widespread adoption of these innovations. Despite the potential, many industry veterans remained sceptical. Yet, in February 2000, bolstered by his entrepreneurial spirit, Paul launched Y3K. The company witnessed exponential growth in its early years. By 2005, Paul had identified another untapped market: professional-level dashcams in vehicles. After initial challenges, the dashcam breakthrough came in 2008, eventually leading to the successful brand, SmartWitness. This venture was sold for $200 million in 2021. Paul says: “After the SmartWitness sale, I took a year off to reconnect with my family and travel across Europe. But the itch to innovate and grow returned. I rejoined Y3K and started plotting the next two decades. I began mentoring start-ups and co-founded a fund aiding Asian companies in penetrating US and European markets.”


Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit even earned him an invitation to 10 Downing Street earlier this year. Quite a lot, then, to ask about! When we sat down and asked about Y3K’s journey and Paul shared the following:

Where have you been?

While I travelled extensively over the last eight years, Y3K has consistently served its loyal 14,000 customers. Our diverse product range extends beyond just CCTV, continually evolving based on customer needs.

So, what is your route to market?

Our core clientele includes installers and integrators. However, we also cater to some distributors and larger businesses that manage their own installations.

Are you a manufacturer?

We collaborate with manufacturing partners to design or refine products, ensuring they meet market demands and our rigorous standards. We pride ourselves on direct engagement, distinguishing us from mere resellers.

How does Y3K benefit the customer?

We are pioneers. Y3K introduced IP CCTV as early as 2002. Our innovative product line-up empowers resellers, positioning them for success. Now, with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), Y3K is poised to help traditional security businesses transition seamlessly into this new technological era.

What are your plans?

“Over the next five years, our vision encompasses more than just security. We aim to evolve into an IoT solutions company, capitalising on emerging markets and opportunities.” I found these concluding remarks ever so interesting, not only as a clue to Paul’s intentions, but also they also reveal where he sees the sector heading. It’s evident that Paul’s forward-thinking approach and technical acumen have been pivotal for Y3K. Those yet to collaborate with Paul and Y3K might want to reconsider.

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