Smart City Company Telensa Lights Up $18M In Funding

Telensa is quite possibly a U.K. tech success story you haven’t heard of. The company, which develops ‘smart city’ solutions has made a land grab in its home country and is looking distinctively like the domestic leader in smart street lighting, as local governments seek ways to reduce energy consumption.

But Telensa is also outward looking and has sold its wares in 8 countries including in China, Russia, the Middle East, and the U.S., in addition to the U.K. — comprising of rolling out over 50 networks based on its Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology. Or a footprint of over 1 million streetlights, the company tells TechCrunch.

To help accelerate growth, the 2005-founded and profitable company has raised $18 million in further funding. Investment comes from ‘green’ VC Environmental Technologies Fund, in addition to debt financing from the London arm of Silicon Valley Bank.

Along with connected LED-based street lighting, which can be controlled and monitored from a central app, Telensa offers a number of other smart city applications. What’s interesting about smart street lighting is that, perhaps unsurprising, the street lamps themselves provide the perfect location to piggyback other sensors, such as for measuring pollution or weather.

Meanwhile, another application the company has been pioneering is a smart parking solution, solving the problem that sees increased traffic congestion as hapless drivers spend hours driving in a circle trying to find somewhere suitable to park.

Its vehicle detection unit uses a magnetic sensor to detect when a car parks over the device, and then sends a message to the application via Telensa’s long range UNB radio system. By aggregating these data points, drivers can be alerted to available parking spaces either in the form of elecriconic signage or via a consumer-facing mobile app or web interface.

Telensa says its smart parking solution includes some of the world’s largest deployments such as in Moscow and Shenzhen.

On today’s newly-announced funding, Patrick Sheehan, Founder and Partner at Environmental Technologies Fund, says in a statement: “Smart city technologies are about harnessing previously isolated information and infrastructure to drive energy efficiency, automation and better decision-making. Telensa’s success is built on robust wireless technology and an application business case that works for the whole ecosystem. We look forward to helping the team accelerate the growth of this thriving business.”