Making another play into smart city territory, Verizon has bought pretty much all the assets of LQD WiFi, a private company whose main product is a kiosk-style structure that looks to compete with the likes of LinkNYC.
New York City-based LQD offers a kiosk called Palo, which it says creates an integrated network of community technology hubs that connect, inform and support communities. The founder and CEO, Randy Ramusack, was Microsoft Switzerland’s CTO and director of Technology Policy for International Organizations from 2005 to 2012, leading global policy, strategy and partnerships with national government leaders and international organizations.
Verizon didn’t disclose terms of the transaction, but Tech Crunch reports that LQD WiFi had raised about $1.73 million in funding from unknown investors.
"LQD's Palo technology hubs capture Verizon's vision of delivering citizen engagement experiences by connecting people with their communities while providing critical security, transportation and wayfinding solutions as well as Wi-Fi capabilities,” Mike Lanman, senior vice president of Enterprise Products and Internet of Things at Verizon, said in a press release. “This transaction uniquely positions us to utilize our unmatched infrastructure, platforms and network at scale to deploy elegant and engaging community technology hubs that connect, inform, inspire and support people where they live, work and play."
Palo, from day one, was designed to be part of the community, offering Wi-Fi, public safety features and a unique, interactive community engagement platform, according to Ramusack.
"LQD is thrilled to join Verizon to redefine the urban space,” Ramusack stated in the release. “As a world leader in wireless technology and smart communities, Verizon's expertise, global scale, and leading media platforms will enable us to deliver on our mission to provide an unbounded flow of information to all people. By bringing Palo to the streets, we're connecting cities to their citizens, citizens to their neighborhoods, and enhancing communities across the country.”
With LQD's technology, Verizon said it aims to address key community needs such as fostering economic development, bridging the digital divide, facilitating transportation and traffic management and enhancing personal security and urban planning.
LQD and Verizon are currently designing solutions for cities, private developers, academic institutions and entertainment venues. Verizon also sees opportunity to promote civic innovation and deliver data-driven solutions leveraging the open data platforms of cities.
It marks yet another acquisition on the part of Verizon to build its IoT business. In September, Verizon said it inked a deal to acquire Sensity Systems, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup that makes connected LED lights for smart cities. In June, Verizon announced the acquisition of Telogis, which had raised more than $126 million to back its “location intelligence platform.” And in August, Verizon announced it would spend $2.4 billion to acquire Fleetmatics, an Ireland-based company that provides GPS vehicle management and other services to companies with mobile workforces.