ETF Partners invests in Worldsensing

ETF Partners, Cisco and McRock Capital have invested €8.3 million in operational intelligence specialist Worldsensing. The capital will be used to accelerate its growth in the Smart Cities and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

Worldsensing already works with over 200 customers across 50 countries, connecting systems, people and infrastructure. This enables real-time decision making; helping to optimise city traffic flow, monitor critical infrastructure projects & assets, and deliver insights in mining operations. In 2016 the company doubled its revenues and is well placed to achieve the same level of success in 2017.

An example in the Smart City field is the recent work in Bogota, Colombia, one of the most densely populated urban areas on the planet. Severe issues with traffic had already prompted the city’s mayor to radically restrict vehicle use based on registration number. This car rationing, however, was proving ineffective and frustrating for drivers. Worldsensing has now enabled multiple city agencies to act on intelligence compiled from traffic flow sensors, traffic lights, emergency services, bus stops and traffic cameras, while feeding in citizen information from social media. In the short-term this is not only saving lives, as emergency service response times have been improved, but also has a positive impact on congestion, pollution and costs for the city. In the long-term city planners will be helped to efficiently plan and develop vital public service infrastructure such as streets, bridges and public transport.

The collaboration with the University of Florence to help protect the iconic Ponte Vecchio, is an example of helping to manage critical infrastructure assets. In May 2016 when 200 metres of road surrounding the 14th century bridge suddenly collapsed into a sinkhole, there were natural concerns for its integrity and the safety of the thousands that cross it every day. The city of Florence looked to Worldsensing, specifically to their expertise in monitoring and data acquisition gained in the infrastructure, construction and mining industries. The Loadsensing system, already used in hundreds of locations around the world, including Singaporean tunnels, German bridges, Chilean mines and the “Grande Paris” project, was deployed. As Loadsensing combines low-power wide area sensor networks with advanced analytics, it was deployed swiftly and without any disruption in the world heritage site. The sensors, located along the 32 metres of the structure, show the bridge to be stable and equip the City of Florence with the real-time information needed to predict and respond to any changes that may occur.

Commenting on the investment, Remy de Tonnac, ETF Partners, said: “What has really impressed us with Ignasi and his team is not only their ability to build a world-class suite of IoT products, but their understanding of the markets in which they are deployed and their work with individual customers. They can tailor “end to end” integrated solutions matching their customers’ specific challenges. Their recent work in Bogota and Florence being just two examples of solutions delivering real-time data insights and decision-making tools that help city planners transform operations. The sustainability potential for IoT in heavy industry, infrastructure and smart cities is clearly vast, and the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of everyone at Worldsensing means they are not only well placed to benefit from the Industrial IoT revolution but drive it.”

Lucy Rands, ETF Partners, added “In Barcelona, Worldsensing’s home city, 1.3 million cars make their way into the city every day with an average journey time of 45 minutes. Deploying Worldsensing’s traffic flow and parking management solutions would shave at least 7 minutes off this time. This would equate to an annual carbon emissions reduction of 250, 000 cubic tonnes – or the amount absorbed every year by a forest of 400 square kilometres – an area four times the size of the city itself.”

Ignasi Vilajosana, CEO, Worldsensing said: “This investment from ETF Partners is a further endorsement of Worldsensing’s rapid growth and ambition. ETF’s experience in the Internet of Things combined with its international network and broad-based view of sustainability through innovation makes them a valuable partner in the next stage of our growth.”



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