Body camera firm targets growth after US acquisition

An Edinburgh-based developer of body-worn cameras that describes itself as the top firm of its kind in the UK has been snapped up by a California-based firm in a deal it hopes will expand its team.

The Scottish firm is 'happy to be joining part of a bigger group'. Picture: Edesix.

Edesix, whose customers include ScotRail and Police Scotland, is being acquired by Vigilant Solutions, an artificial intelligence and data analytics company that provides technology for public safety.

The transaction will add body worn camera images via hardware and software and in-car camera technology to Vigilant’s existing offering of automated number plate recognition, facial recognition, ballistics analysis and gun crime mapping hardware and software.

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Richie McBride, chief executive of Edesix, told The Scotsman that terms of the deal were not being disclosed, but he added that the business is “happy to be joining part of a bigger group” that will enable it too pursue overseas expansion.

The Scottish firm current serves areas including the UK, Europe, US, Canada, the Middle East and Australasia.

The Edesix management team will stay the same, and branding outside the US will remain as Edesix. There will be no redundancies, and it is also hoped that the deal will help create further jobs, which McBride expects to be on the research and development side.

He added that the acquisition comes on the back of successful years of growth for Edesix. “It’s a good thing for [our] company in general and lets us expand even faster now.”

Proceeds of the deal will be shared among Edesix’s five founders, including McBride. Also benefiting are internal option-holders and Panoramic Growth Equity, which has an office in Glasgow and provided two rounds of investment totalling £1.5 million.

Edesix will continue to focus on growth in the UK, Europe and Middle East, and its technology will be used in the US police market where Vigilant has a large presence, McBride said. The US firm is not only entering the body worn and in-car camera markets but is also expanding its presence beyond its traditional public safety customer base and will serve various commercial industries.

McBride also highlighted the potential for use at school and university campuses. He added: “We’re going to take on more projects to help Vigilant to grow – we’ve got new products that we’re going to develop for that US market so I think [the deal] is a positive thing for the company.”

Additionally, he said it “validates” the Scottish tech industry’s “good talent and ability to deliver… it’s a good result for Scotland”.

Shawn Smith, founder and president of Vigilant Solutions said: “This acquisition allows us to continue to build Vigilant’s global brand. In addition, Edesix also enhances Vigilant’s hardware and software engineering capabilities.”