Digital Recognition Network (DRN) has new ownership.
According to a news release distributed on Monday morning, Motorola Solutions announced it has acquired VaaS International Holdings, a data and image analytics company that includes DRN and is based in Livermore, Calif., and Fort Worth, Texas.
Motorola Solutions paid a purchase price of $445 million in a combination of cash and equity.
VaaS, a “video analysis as a service” company, is a leading 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, can provide 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, including auto finance companies.
The company’s 2019 revenues are expected to be approximately $100 million.
“Automated license plate recognition is an increasingly powerful tool for law enforcement,” said Greg Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of 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 acquisition announcement comes on the heels of DRN highlighting that it secured several milestones in 2018, including that its live hotlist exceeded 410,000 license plate recognition (LPR) assignments in 2018. That figure represented an increase of 33 percent year-over-year.
“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 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,” Hodnett continued.
VaaS’ platform can enable 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.
“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.”
The company went on to mention license plate reading is a highly specialized practice that requires purpose-built cameras and analytics. VaaS’ fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras can capture and analyze license plate information, which differs greatly by state and country, even when vehicles are moving at high speeds or in low-visibility weather conditions.