Miovision acquires one of its customers, traffic data collection firm CJ Hensch

Miovision CEO Kurtis McBride
CEO hopes deal will give Miovision a deeper understanding of its target market.

Kitchener-Waterloo-based traffic management software startup Miovision has scooped up one of its customers, acquiring Texas traffic data collection company CJ Hensch & Associates.

The deal, which marks Miovision’s fifth acquisition to date, will see CJ Hensch operate as a standalone business unit of Miovision. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“By understanding the market in a deeper way, we’re going to live the opportunity and the pain of our customers.”

Kurtis McBride

Miovision uses computer vision, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics to help cities reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. Miovision develops both software and hardware aimed to enable communities to remotely manage and track their traffic networks.

CJ Hensch offers traffic data collection services to governmental agencies, engineering firms, and developers in Texas.

According to a statement from Miovision, CJ Hensch was an early adopter of Miovision’s camera-based traffic data collection device, Scout, and continues to use the product on a day-to-day basis.

As to why is Miovision is buying one of its earliest customers, on an episode of Miovision’s podcast, Miovision founder and CEO Kurtis McBride explained that acquiring CJ Hensch allows Miovision to gain a deeper understanding of the problem set and pain points faced by its customers.

“By understanding the market in a deeper way, we’re going to live the opportunity and the pain of our customers,” McBride said.

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McBride added that Miovision has started to see some of its customers considering selling parts of their businesses to private equity firms. “It got us thinking that rather than running the model that we’ve been running—selling innovation to customers—maybe we can partner with some of our customers and take a more active role in bringing the next wave of innovation into the market,” he said.

McBride added that this strategy could be used in future deals. “If any of [Miovision’s] partners ever get to the point where they’re saying, ‘I’d like to buy a boat and go fishing,’ then we also want to use this platform as … a mechanism for them to exit if they ever do choose to,” he said.

Miovision closed nearly $300 million in funding last year from Telus Ventures, Maverix Private Equity, and Export Development Canada (EDC). This funding included a $260-million tranche closed in April, and an additional $36 million from October.

In addition to CJ Hensch, Miovision has also acquired Trafftop and Rapid Flow. Last year, it purchased Winnipeg-based MicroTraffic, and later bought Global Traffic Technologies in a deal valued at $107 million USD.

Following the acquisition, CJ Hensch president Roger Allen will remain in his current role. Miovision has tapped traffic industry veteran Marshall Cheek to serve as the unit’s general manager, and tasked him with finding new opportunities within the business.

Feature image courtesy of Miovision.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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