Verizon pumps up its smart city muscles with Sensity buy

In a move to boost its smart city presence, Verizon recently bought Sensity Systems, an LED networking startup.

Greentech Media said the mobile communications giant recently bought California-based Sensity for an undisclosed sum.

Sensity creates LED systems that are integrated with wireless nodes. These nodes have the potential for enabling future Internet of Things (IoT) applications like smart parking and weather monitoring.

The nodes are currently integrated with Acuity and Amerlux LEDs, but they have the capacity for retrofitting with other fixtures.

The Sensity acquisition will enable Verizon to more actively take an ownership role smart city projects instead of just profiting off network traffic built on its IoT unit ThingSpace.

“This transaction will accelerate the deployment of large-scale implementations that will drive the digital transformation of cities, universities and venues,” said Verizon SVP for Enterprise Products Mike Lanman said in a statement.

Sensity network was key selling point

New York-based Verizon said that Sensity’s network of partners was a key selling point of the acquisition. A key partner is Cisco, currently a leader in the smart city space, which resells Sensity products and is its chosen smart city project network integrator.

Sensity said one of its strongest value propositions is its ability to help cities smarten up its infrastructure to adapt to rapid urban growth.

“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,” said Sensity CEO Hugh Martin. “Sensity realized early on that IoT could be the key to breaking out of this dilemma.”

Sensity’s IoT tech has attracted $74 million in funding to date, with about half of that coming last summer, led by Cisco Investment.

Other investors include: Acuity Brands, GE Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Radar Partners, Almaz Capital, Silver Creek Ventures and Simon Venture Group.

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