Verizon to acquire Sensity as it continues to pursue the IoT

Source: Flickr user Lisa Padilla

Verizon said it inked a deal to acquire Sensity Systems, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup that makes connected LED lights for smart cities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sensity helps businesses, municipalities and other customers convert older lighting systems into connected LED systems that can be controlled remotely. It provides sensors, cameras and thermometers that can be used to monitor traffic, parking and public safety.

Sensity had raised roughly $75 million from backers including Cisco Systems and GE, and it boasts 42 smart city installations around the world. Verizon said Sensity will become part of ThingSpace, which the carrier launched last year in an effort to make it easier for developers and others to create IoT offerings using its wide area network for connectivity.

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"Rapid urbanization is putting a huge strain on city services globally, coupled with inefficiencies caused by an aging infrastructure that currently supports critical functions, such as fire and emergency services, public transportation, lighting, sewer and sanitation systems,” Sensity CEO Hugh Martin said in a press release. “Sensity realized early on that IoT could be the key to breaking out of this dilemma. We have become the leader in the space by creating a visionary smart city IoT platform and forming a powerful ecosystem of technology partners. With Verizon, we look forward to delivering IoT connected systems on a massive scale to change how cities and communities operate around the world."

The move marks yet another significant acquisition for Verizon as it looks to expand beyond its traditional communications business to the IoT and other markets. In June Verizon announced the acquisition of Telogis, which had raised more than $126 million to back its “location intelligence platform.” And last month the nation’s largest operator said it would spend $2.4 billion to acquire Fleetmatics, an Ireland-based firm that provides GPS vehicle management and other services to companies with mobile workforces.

Earlier this year Verizon hired Mrinalini Ingram, a former Cisco executive, to lead its smart cities business.

The carrier is also hoping to build a consumer-focused digital media empire as well. In July it agreed to spend $4.83 billion to acquire Yahoo’s core internet business, and last year it spent $4.4 billion to buy AOL and its properties including Huffington PostEngadget and TechCrunch. And Verizon continues to pursue the mobile video and advertising space with Go90.

For more:
- read this Verizon press release

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