Versaterm buys Baltimore-based public safety software-maker in bid to boost customer base

Versaterm platform
Versaterm provides dispatch software and records management services to about 100 police and fire departments in Canada and the U.S. File photo

An Ottawa software firm that was acquired by a U.S. private equity firm late last year has made an M&A deal of its own, purchasing a Maryland-based supplier of technology that helps first responders track locations of fires and other emergencies.

Versaterm, which specializes in software that stores and analyzes data for police and fire departments in Canada and the U.S., said Monday it’s acquired Baltimore-based Adashi Systems. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Adashi transaction “marks the beginning of a planned slate of strategic acquisitions designed to expand the Versaterm public safety suite functionality for police, fire and EMS customers,” the Ottawa company said in a news release, adding it “expects to acquire other industry-leading solution providers in the months to come.”

Fire departments around the world use Adashi’s platform to track fire locations, equipment and staff as well as streamline the process of reporting on incidents. The firm is now broadening its customer base to include police forces, which use the system to communicate during situations such as public protests and SWAT team operations.

“We expect our police customers will embrace Adashi’s capabilities based on its well-established track record with fire customers worldwide,” Versaterm CEO Warren Loomis said in a news release.

Second recent acquisition

Versaterm 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, the firm was acquired by San Francisco’s Banneker Partners in December.

The company might not be a household name in Ottawa, 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.

Monday’s deal was the second acquisition in less than two years for Versaterm, which also bought San Diego-based communications software maker TechVoice earlier in 2020.