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Motorola Acquires Owner of Edinburgh’s Edesix

Duncan MacRae


UK Government

The takeover of the licence plate recognition specialist is hoped to complement Motorola Solutions’ command centre software suite.

Motorola Solutions has acquired VaaS International Holdings (VaaS), the data and image analytics firm that bought Edinburgh-based digital evidence solutions provider, Edesix, in October 2018.

Motorola paid $445 million (£348 million) in a combination of cash and equity for VaaS, a video analysis as a service company that provides data and image analytics for vehicle location.

The company’s 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 (£78 million).

Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions, said: “Automated license plate recognition is an increasingly powerful tool for law enforcement.

“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.”

Improving Outcomes

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.

Shawn Smith, co-founder of VaaS and president of Vigilant Solutions, said: “We are very excited to be joining Motorola 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.”

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Todd Hodnett, co-founder of VaaS and president of Digital Recognition Network, said: “Our extensive license plate data and AI technology have opened new commercial applications of our products. 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.”

Licence 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.

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Edesix managing director Richie McBride said: “We’re exceptionally pleased to be part of a world-class company like Motorola, and are excited about the opportunities this will bring for Edesix. I believe that this acquisition will present growth and expansion for us as a business, and will strengthen our wearable security solutions globally.”

Edesix provides wearable security hardware and software and is said to be the UK’s number one manufacturer of body-worn cameras.

Duncan MacRae


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