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LLR Partners bets on industrial IoT with Geoforce acquisition

The firm will evaluate other opportunities within industrial IoT sub-verticals, including telematics, fleet tracking, condition monitoring and commercial building automation

Looking to build out an industrial Internet of Things and asset tracking platform, LLR Partners has purchased a majority stake in Geoforce, the firm told PE Hub.

LLR invested in Geoforce last week out of LLR Equity Partners V, which closed on $1.2 billion in June 2018, Dan Irwin, vice president at LLR, told PE Hub.

Geoforce, of Dallas, Texas, provides cloud-based technology for connected field equipment within the oil and gas industry. Its GPS and cloud-driven technology also is used in the agriculture, construction, mining, transportation, logistics and rail markets.

LLR spent nearly two years talking to businesses within the industrial IoT market, Irwin said, ultimately identifying Geoforce as an appropriate platform for investment due to both its scale and niche vertical specialization, including within oil and gas.

“The industrial IoT and asset tracking market is so early, but it’s a very large addressable market that is growing quickly,” Irwin said. “It’s super fragmented. There [are] not a ton of players of scale.”

LLR is looking to grow the platform both organically and through add-on acquisitions, according to Irwin.

The firm will evaluate other opportunities for investment in sub-verticals within industrial IoT, including telematics, fleet tracking, condition monitoring and commercial building automation, Irwin said.

LLR typically makes platform investments in companies with $10 million to $100 million in revenue.

Geoforce isn’t LLR’s first investment in the tracking space. In June 2017, the firm invested in 3Si Security Systems, which provides a GPS tracking technology to protect cash and high-value assets.

LLR, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a middle market private equity firm that invests in technology, healthcare and services businesses. Founded in 1999, the firm has raised more than $3.5 billion across five funds.

Action Item: Contact Dan Irwin at dirwin@llrpartners.com