Sierra Wireless completes acquisition of telematics firm GenX Mobile

Sierra Wireless has completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of GenX Mobile Inc. - a major player in the cellular fleet management, asset tracking and transportation markets. Customers include one of the leading fleet management solutions providers in the US.

Sierra Wireless said it acquired GenX Mobile to target the growing telematics space and has paid a total cash consideration of $7.8 million ($6.0 million, net of cash acquired) for GenX, subject to working capital adjustments.

Based in San Jose, California, GenX mobile has 22 employees and is a provider of in-vehicle cellular devices for the fleet management, asset tracking and transportation markets. The company's products are complementary to Sierra Wireless’ existing Enterprise Solutions portfolio of mobile and industrial gateways.

This is a strategic investment for Sierra Wireless in an effort to expand its foothold in a rapidly growing telematics market. The global commercial vehicle telematics market will be worth $13 billion in 2016 (Source: Visiongain). Plus, it believes there are clear market trends that will drive increased penetration, including;

• Transition to more advanced networks, e.g. LTE
• Rise of the sensor in the vehicle
• Demands for better driver behaviour measurement.

Sierra Wireless believes that the acquisition of GenX will expand its strategic position in key market segments and bolsters its telematics and location capabilities. The GenX business and team will be integrated with into its Enterprise Solutions business unit.

Expansion continues

The company’s core business is in providing M2M/IoT modules, routers and gateways, but it has expanded out into IoT device connectivity management and other areas. In March 2014, it acquired Vancouver-based In Motion Technology, a mobile enterprise solutions provider of rugged in-vehicle mobile routers for US $21 million. In 2014, it bought Wireless Maingate, a Sweden-based provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity and data management services for US$90 million in cash.

In May 2015, Sierra Wireless agreed to purchase Florida-based Accel Networks, a provider of 4G LTE managed connectivity service for distributed enterprises, and in June 2015 it announced it was acquiring MobiquiThings, a European mobile virtual network operator based in France for €14 million in cash.

GenX Mobile provides telematic, security and fleet service companies with the most effective and up-to-date wireless location enabled equipment to offer services/solutions to its end customers.

The solutions are highly configurable and designed to service a wide variety of market and industry requirements. They are ideal for mobile resource management (MRM), vehicle tracking and many other location aware applications and services.

GenX Mobile has also authored more than a dozen patents in the wireless and GPS related areas. Many of these patents are currently utilised by major MRM service companies. GenX Mobile intellectual property includes existing patents and pending patents covering the technology and business areas of GPS and wireless data communications.

The company has shipped over 200,000 units internationally in the past three years and continues to grow year-on-year. Its products are manufactured in the US and are available to the US, European, Canadian, and Mexico markets.

The acquisition marks another development in the telematics space. Last week (1 August 2016, US mobile carrier Verizon acquired Fleetmatics in the USA for $2.4 billion in cash.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.