InvenSense, a provider MEMS based sensor solutions, announced this week that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire Movea, a sensor fusion and context awareness software company, and Trusted Positioning (TPI), an indoor and outdoor location tracking software firm. InvenSense will pay approximately $81 million for acquisition of both firms. As of March 2014, InvenSense had approximately $117 million in cash and equivalents, so the transaction amount involved in these acquisitions will significantly reduce the company’s cash reserves. On the other hand, some industry analysts have recently speculated that InvenSense may have won designs for the next generation of Apple’s products such as the iPhone 6, iWatch, and some of the new iPad business. Interestingly, these two deals were announced just one week after Audience’s announcement that it is acquiring Sensor Platforms, another sensor fusion and context awareness software firm, for $41 million.
Movea has been applying its signal processing algorithms and software technology for consumer mobile, TV interaction and wearable applications. Context analysis utilizes motion and audio sensors to determine, for example, a person's state and activity, their energy expenditure, their location, or an athlete's speed and cadence. Movea's software framework expertise is expected to further leverage InvenSense's position in motion sensing solutions.
TPI's technology reportedly improves the accuracy of both indoor and outdoor location information by augmenting GNSS and Wi-Fi based infrastructure. Using inertial sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, and pressure sensors in mobile and wearable devices, TPI's software platform provides continual positioning information.
“With the addition of Movea and TPI, InvenSense achieves a significant milestone as it transitions to a leading provider of intelligent sensor system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for the fast growing mobile market,” said Behrooz Abdi, President and CEO of InvenSense. "The tight integration of our [sensors] with TPI's advanced location tracking software and Movea's data fusion algorithms will position us to deliver on [our “AlwaysOn”] promise.”
Movea's CEO, Sam Guilaumé, said, “the combination of Movea's strong product and patent portfolios with InvenSense's industry leading motion and sound SoC solutions will bring value to customers by reducing risk, cost and time-to-market as they deliver compelling new features that differentiate their products and deliver more end-user value.”
“InvenSense shares our passion for “Positioning Everywhere” and they have been a strong supporter of [our] team, technology and vision,” said Chris Goodall, TPI’s CEO. “We are pleased to be joining the InvenSense family with the goal of making indoor/outdoor positioning ubiquitous. Together with InvenSense we will now have the required resources and investment to mainstream this disruptive technology.”
In connection with the acquisition of both companies, InvenSense expects to pay approximately $81 million, net of cash assumed, to acquire all of the outstanding shares of capital stock and other equity rights of Movea and TPI. The purchase price will be paid with $6 million of InvenSense common stock and the remainder in cash, except that portion attributable to unvested employee stock options will be paid in stock options exercisable for shares of InvenSense's common stock. A portion of the cash consideration payable to the stockholders will be placed into escrow pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement. The estimated financial impact of the acquisitions upon the future operating results of InvenSense will be discussed during the next regularly scheduled quarterly investors analyst conference call currently planned for July 29, 2014. The boards of directors of InvenSense and the two companies have approved the mergers. The transactions are expected to close by the end of InvenSense's second quarter, September 30, 2014 and remains subject to the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions.
Movea is based in Grenoble, France and has a portfolio of more than 500 patents. Trusted Positioning (TPI) is based in Calgary, Canada and was founded in 2009 to provide indoor location information in areas where wireless systems, such as GPS and Wi-Fi alone, are unavailable or inaccurate. Using pre-existing sensors in smartphones, TPI’s software integrates the sensor signals with wireless systems to enable continual and accurate positioning.
Hillcrest Labs is another notable company that provides sensor fusion software solutions. The company’s CEO, Dan Simpkins, also commented on the recent acquisition activity. “Embedded sensors are a growing part of the products we use every day, from smartphones and tablets, to fitness bands and TV remote controls,” said Simpkins. “But, to make these sensors interoperate and work effectively requires complex software.”
Hillcrest Labs software sensor fusion technology has reportedly been licensed by Atmel, Coolpad, Eastman Kodak, Hisense, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Logitech, Oppo, Roku, SMK Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment, TCL Multimedia, Universal Electronics, and others.
“As recent M&A activity suggests, interest has never been higher in the core technology required to manage sensors and process sensor data, and we’ve never been more excited about the opportunity ahead of us at Hillcrest Labs. With deployments in [tens] of millions of devices, and a worldwide intellectual property portfolio that includes approximately 120 granted out of 250 filed patents, Hillcrest Labs remains the leading global supplier of technology solutions for sensor enabled devices,” Simpkins added.
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