Plextek completes sales of spinout 'Telensa' to Dutch company Signify

Member News published by Plextek, under Business Development, Discovering Start Ups, Innovation / Incubation, Technical Consultancy

Cambridge-based Plextek Group has announced completion of its sale of Telensa Holdings Ltd to Signify Holding BV. This marks the next phase for the company that Plextek first conceived in 2002.

Founded and spun out of Plextek Limited, Telensa has been led by Tim Jackson and Will Gibson, originally majoring on wireless telemetry skills developed by Plextek. The company pioneered the system that meters, manages and controls streetlights, a process now labelled Smart Street Lighting. At its core it utilises the Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) wireless protocol to achieve outstanding coverage owing to its long radio range and corresponding low requirements for cells and associated base station hardware.

The Telensa system is typically procured by local councils and utility organisations attracted by its green credentials, creating a return on investment in just three years based on savings from lower electricity consumption and reduced maintenance costs.  Smart street lighting is a key component of smarter urban environments.

In 2015, the established sustainability investor ETF Partners invested in Telensa to enable the global scale-up that has led to the company’s present market-leading position of more than two million connected streetlights in 400 cities globally, based on nearly 100 networks. In the UK alone, Telensa has made a significant contribution to the modernisation of street lighting. Currently, 29% of UK streetlights are smart, and overall they consume 28% less electricity today than they did in 2010… . 

The sale to Signify complements its existing activities in street lighting by adding new technology and customers.

Plextek group chairman Dr Colin Smithers said of the deal, “We are delighted to see Telensa leave the nest and find its new home with Signify – formerly Philips Lighting. Completing its journey with us marks the start of a new adventure with Signify and the next stage in  global scale-up. It has also been a delight working with Patrick Sheehan’s group at ETF Partners who have always been helpful and constructive during the inevitable ups and the downs of growing a tech company.”

About Plextek

Formed in 1989, Plextek Ltd is a technology design house specialising in communications technology products and systems and now sports over 400 client organisations. These include names such as MBDA, Sony, Ultra Electronics and Tracker Network who have each clocked up over 20 years association with Plextek.

This sale to Signify represents the second outright sale of one of the Plextek Group companies. Some of these were demerged from Plextek in 2015 forming a group of sister companies and now comprise:

  1. Plextek Services Ltd (the original technical product design house),  which solves today's hardest engineering problems in sensing, data collection and communications
  2. Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd - Best-in-class e-scan radars for border security, counter-drone, perimeter security, wide area surveillance & coastline security, including to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and civil and defence customers in over 35 countries
  3. Redtail Telematics - full stack providers of black box telematics to insurers, OEMs and fleets including Admiral, ByMiles, young driver specialist Ingenie and Tracker Network (UK) Ltd, the Stolen Vehicle Recovery Specialist and LoJack, a licensee recently acquired by CalAmp.
  4. Plextek RFI - now PRFI – was sold to CML in February 2020
  5. Plextek Campus Ltd – evolving the Plextek site into a science park.

For further information please contact: Edwina Mullins: 

 … source: “State of the Nation – 2020 Streetlight Survey” by the UK Roads Liaison Group and CIHT (Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation)

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