CSI Ottawa: Versaterm acquires DNA, blood sample analysis firm


Ottawa public safety software firm Versaterm isn’t easing up on its recent acquisition tear, announcing Tuesday it bought an Arizona company that helps streamline data flow to forensic labs across North America. 

Versaterm said the deal for Mesa-based JusticeTrax closed earlier this month. Terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1995, JusticeTrax has about 30 employees. The firm specializes in case management software that tracks evidence such as DNA and blood samples after it is sent to forensic test labs and verifies that testing.

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The company’s more than 100 customers include the RCMP and police departments throughout the U.S. and clients in Australia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.

It’s the fourth acquisition in the last three months for Versaterm, which supplies dispatch software and records management services to police and fire departments throughout Canada and the U.S.

Versaterm CEO Warren Loomis said JusticeTrax’s platform complements his company’s existing suite of services. 

Versaterm, which was acquired by San Francisco-based private equity firm Banneker Partners last December, has been on a shopping spree of late as it looks to broaden its customer base and expand its geographic footprint.

In June, Versaterm acquired Baltimore-based Adashi Systems, which tracks the movements of equipment and firefighters when they’re dispatched to a scene. Later that month, the firm bought eJust Systems, a southern Ontario company that helps police investigators organize and electronically deliver material to prosecutors.

The public perception of policing across North America is suffering right now. This technology helps with that.

Versaterm followed up those deals with the July acquisition of SPIDR Tech, a California company whose platform automatically sends text messages and emails to 911 callers and crime victims updating them about the status of their calls and cases and informing them when officers have been dispatched to a scene.

Loomis says the market for such software continues to grow as police forces worldwide look for better ways of connecting to the communities they serve.

“The public perception of policing across North America is suffering right now. This technology helps with that,” he said. “The marketplace has always been there – you could say it’s relatively mature. But as with anything, it evolves. You either stay ahead of the ball or you let the ball run over you.”

The latest deal raises Versature’s total headcount to 180, with about 100 employees in Ottawa. The company has eight employees in Scottsdale, Ariz., who will join their new colleagues from JusticeTrax at a combined office in the Mesa area.

With Versaterm’s revenues growing at a steady clip of 30 to 40 per cent a year, Loomis said the company plans to keep hiring and aims to be at 150 employees in the capital within a couple of years.

He said Versaterm plans to keep growing both organically and through acquisitions, adding the company is close to wrapping up another deal that should be finalized soon.

“The investment community out there is really behind us,” he said. “They’re loving public safety.”

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