Plextek sells Smart Street Lighting Business to Signify

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.”

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