Ottawa's Versaterm buys California firm for second acquisition of 2021

Versaterm platform

An Ottawa company that provides software to police forces and other first responders has pulled the trigger on its second acquisition of 2021 as it continues to expand its footprint across North America.

Versaterm announced Tuesday it has acquired California-based software-maker SPIDR Tech. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2016, SPIDR Tech makes a platform that automatically sends text messages and emails to 911 callers and crime victims updating them about the status of their calls and cases.

The company also creates surveys aimed at gaining feedback from members of the community who deal with law enforcement agencies. More than 50 public service agencies across North America use its services.

Versaterm CEO Warren Loomis said the deal will add to the existing suite of products his company sells to police and fire departments in Canada and the U.S.

“Offering direct messaging and follow-up surveys for enhanced community engagement and interaction is ground-breaking and certainly SPIDR Tech has perfected it,” Loomis said in a statement. 

M&A mindset

“We are excited to extend our public safety ecosystem with SPIDR Tech to better serve citizens and the larger community.” 

It’s the second M&A deal in as many months for Versaterm, which announced in mid-June it had acquired Baltimore-based Adashi Systems.

The Ottawa firm was founded in 1977 by a group of former RCMP employees who helped build the Canadian Police Information Centre, the national police database. Originally family-owned, Versaterm itself was acquired by San Francisco’s Banneker Partners in December.

The company might not be a household name here in the capital, but it’s become the go-to supplier of dispatch software and records management services to about 100 police and fire departments in Canada and the U.S.

Versaterm’s platform feeds information to officers in the field in real time ​– for example, informing them if a suspect has a criminal record or whether a particular address has been the subject of previous complaints. 

Police forces in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver are among its customers, and it serves more than 130 RCMP detachments in British Columbia alone.