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Motorola Acquires LPR Specialist VaaS International Holdings

VaaS technology includes fixed and mobile cameras to read license plates and then transmit the vehicles’ location to law enforcement agencies.

CHICAGO — Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) has acquired VaaS International Holdings, a data and image analytics company, which operates dual headquarters in Livermore, Calif., and Fort Worth, Texas.

Motorola paid a purchase price of $445 million in a combination of cash and equity. The deal follows the company’s roughly $1 billion acquisition of Avigilon in 2018, which marked Motorola’s entry into the electronic security industry.

VaaS, a “video analysis as a service” company, is a global provider of 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 (AI), provides vehicle location data to public safety and commercial customers.

Founded in 2014, VaaS’ 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, according to Motorola.

In 2017, VaaS raised a $5 million venture round, according to Crunchbase. And in 2015, the Dallas Business Journal reported, it raised $110 million.

“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,” Shawn Smith, co-founder of VaaS and president of Vigilant Solutions, in a statement.

“Automated license plate recognition is an increasingly powerful tool for law enforcement,” states Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “With this acquisition, VaaS will expand our command center 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.”

The 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, according to the company. 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,” says 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.”

Todd Hodnett, co-founder of VaaS and president of DRN states, “Our extensive license plate data and AI technology have opened new commercial applications of our products. We believe commercialization 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.”

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