Alstom has signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of 21net, from the Innovacom fund and other investors. 21net is a provider of on-board Internet and passenger infotainment for the railway industry. Its on-board connectivity solution is based on multiple technologies such as satellite, cellular and high-speed wireless from trackside antennas. The company is headquartered in the UK with subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Italy and India. It employs 50 people and its turnover represented around €16 million in 2017.
Founded in 2001, the company has developed over the years an expertise in end-to-end network design and optimization for broadband Internet on high-speed trains. The company notably installed Wi-Fi equipment for high-speed trains in France with a contract signed with SNCF in 2016. Alstom has already worked with 21net on the Wi-Fi and infotainment equipment of the NTV train fleet in Italy.
“This new acquisition, one year after that of Nomad Digital, will reinforce Alstom’s digital offering and expertise. The demand for seamless connectivity throughout passengers’ journey is today a must. Alstom will support operators in the acceleration of digital trends worldwide” declares Jean-François Beaudoin, Senior Vice-President for Digital Mobility at Alstom.
“Innovacom has been pioneering the development of new technologies through start-ups and then consolidating them within leading companies for 30 years. We are pleased with this new concretization of the open innovation process to the benefit of all parties,” adds Vincent Deltrieu, Partner at Innovacom.
The closing of the transaction is expected in one month from now. Alstom will begin integrating 21net into the Group from then.