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Motorola snaps up US video analytics specialist VaaS in $445M key play

Motorola Solutions has acquired VaaS, a data and image analytics company based in Livermore, California and Fort Worth, Texas, paying Motorola US$445 million in a combination of cash and equity.

VaaS, a “video analysis as a service” company, is billed as a primary  global provider of data and image analytics for vehicle location. Its image capture and analysis platform, which features fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, provides vehicle location data to public safety and commercial customers.

The firm’s subsidiaries include Vigilant Solutions for law enforcement users and Digital Recognition Network (DRN) for commercial customers. The company’s 2019 revenues are expected to be approximately US$100 million.

According to Motorola Solutions, the acquisition’s research and development operations are based in Vietnam where it has more than 40 employees working in the specialised areas of software engineering, AI and data analytics.

“This acquisition expands Motorola Solutions’ data and analytics capabilities, complementing our public safety software and analytics suite and Avigilon video and analytics platform,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “VaaS will enhance Motorola Solutions’ software portfolio with vehicle location information that can help first responders shorten response times, improve the speed and accuracy of investigations and create safer cities.”

VaaS’ platform enables controllable, audited data-sharing across multiple law enforcement agencies. Vehicle location information can help accelerate time to resolution and improve outcomes for public safety agencies, particularly when combined with police records. For example, law enforcement has used VaaS’ solutions to quickly apprehend dangerous suspects and find missing persons.

“We are very excited to be joining Motorola Solutions,” said Shawn Smith, co-founder of VaaS and president of Vigilant Solutions. “This acquisition enables us to continue to serve our existing customers and expand our footprint globally, while at the same time supporting a company with a commitment to innovation and growth, guided by a common purpose that aligns with our mission and culture: ‘To help people be their best in the moments that matter.’ It doesn’t get any better than that.”

“Our extensive license plate data and AI technology have opened new commercial applications of our products,” said Todd Hodnett, co-founder of VaaS and president of Digital Recognition Network. “We believe commercialisation of these new applications can be accelerated under the Motorola Solutions brand and reach, and we look forward to working together to grow and diversify our commercial business.”

License plate reading is a highly specialised practice that requires purpose-built cameras and analytics. VaaS’ fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras can capture and analyse license plate information, which differs greatly by state and country, even when vehicles are moving at high speeds or in low-visibility weather conditions.

VaaS will join Motorola Solutions’ Software Enterprise, the team responsible for creating the company’s integrated public safety software suite.



Categories: AI, M&A

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