Motorola Solutions has acquired VaaS International Holdings (Vaas), a data and image analytics company, which had an initial focus on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), based in Livermore, California and Fort Worth, for $445 million in a combination of cash and equity.
VaaS’ image capture and analysis platform, which includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, provides vehicle location data to public safety and commercial customers. Its 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 $100 million.
VaaS and Motorola Solutjons claim that the former’s platform enables controllable, audited data-sharing across multiple law enforcement agencies. Vehicle location information can help to reduce the time it takes to resolve incidents 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.
Back in October, Vigilant Solutions announced that it had entered the body-worn video camera market by acquiring Edesix Ltd, which it described as “a global provider of wearable security hardware and software, and the United Kingdom’s number one manufacturer of body worn cameras”. Vigilant Solutions’ portfolio also includes ANPR, facial recognition, ballistics analysis and gun crime mapping hardware and software solutions. DRN, VaaS’ other subsidiary, entered into an agreement in November with Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems to provide ANPR-based repossession management services to the car hire industry.
This is not the first time that Motorola Solutions has snapped up a video analytics company. Back in March 2018, it acquired Avigilon, which designs, develops, and manufactures video analytics, network video management software and hardware, surveillance cameras, and access control solutions. See our coverage of the announcement back in February 2018 here.
“Automated license plate recognition is an increasingly powerful tool for law enforcement,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “With this acquisition, VaaS will expand our command centre software portfolio with the largest shareable database of vehicle location information that can help shorten response times and improve the speed and accuracy of investigations.”
“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.”
Author: Sam Fenwick