Making brighter cities

About us

Telensa’s smart streetlight control system is the world’s largest, with a footprint of nearly two million lights covering entire cities and regions. This means we are perfectly placed to pioneer new, different and cost-effective ways to develop the smart cities of tomorrow, making urban spaces work better for everyone.

Telensa delivers a proven business case, with technology that has been tried and tested for over a decade. Streetlight infrastructure can easily be adopted for city-wide sensing, an efficient means to collect, protect and apply data to enhance city life. In effect, our many streetlight connections act as a sensing array, providing place, power and connectivity wherever people live, work and travel.

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Our journey

2019
  • The Urban Data Project announced with Cambridge as launch partner city
  • Northeast Group again names Telensa as global #1 in smart street lighting
  • Australian cities of Darwin and Palmerston select Telensa for their smart street lighting
2018
  • Deployed as part of City of Edinburgh Council’s 64,000-light energy efficiency program
  • First smart city deployment with Essex/Hertfordshire – smart lighting, traffic, waste, drainage, air quality
  • Sunday Times Export Track 100 – ranked #4 with annual growth of 189%
2017
  • Manufacturing moved to Sony, Wales
  • First Middle East deployment on Dubai’s flagship canal bridges
  • Won Amazon Growing Business Award after 3x revenue growth in 2 years
  • First major APAC deployment in Wellington New Zealand
2016
  • Northeast Group ranks Telensa as global #1 for smart streetlight market share
  • First traffic-adaptive highway lighting deployed in Suffolk UK
2015
  • Global footprint reaches 1 million lights controlled by Telensa tech
  • $18m investment to accelerate international growth and smart city portfolio
2014
  • First major US deployment in Georgia US – now world’s largest system
2012
  • 50% UK market share – one in ten of the UK’s streetlights covered
2010
  • First major city deployment with Amey in Birmingham: 100,000 lights
2005
  • Telensa gets started with a UK government Carbon Trust grant

Our Board and Leadership team

Short profiles of the dedicated, experienced team members who lead the way at Telensa. Collectively, they are responsible for keeping us focused on the road to success.

Board
Will Franks
Chief Executive Officer

Will is an accomplished business leader with 30 years’ experience in wireless technologies. Previously Will founded Ubiquisys, the leader in Small Cell technology for the mobile wireless industry, where he served as CTO and Board Member until the company was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $310M. Prior to that Will held senior roles at Lucent Technologies and Racal Radio.

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Martin McNair
Chairman

As Chairman of Telensa, Martin brings some 30 years’ experience in high growth technology businesses covering investments in over 20 telecoms, semiconductor, wireless technology, networking and consumer Internet companies. Martin is an independent advisor to boards and investors in ICT and digital media businesses. He was a general partner at Advent Venture Partners, one of Europe’s leading growth and venture capital investors. Prior to this, Martin spent 12 years as an investment manager with venture capital fund manager MTI. In his early career he was founder and CEO of an instrumentation and telemetry business.

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Julian Smith
Chief Financial Officer

Julian is a Chartered Accountant with 23 years senior experience in listed and privately held technology and technology related companies. Most recently he was the CFO for five years at multinational biotech services and IP licencing company Abzena plc until its acquisition by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in October 2018. He has completed two IPOs (Abzena and Imperial Innovations plc) and one takeover on AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Total funds raised to date exceed £370m through 13 fund raising events in four companies from venture capitalists, public equity and debt finance. He has 12 years listed Company CFO experience. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Arthur Anderson in 1990 following completion of an Engineering Science Degree at Oxford University.

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Patrick Sheehan
Board Director

Patrick is a founder and Partner of the Environmental Technologies Fund. Patrick has worked in venture capital since 1985. He was instrumental in founding 3i’s venture capital practice, and later became the founding Managing Director of its Silicon Valley operation. Before this, he was a research engineer for GEC and Marconi Space Systems. He was a member of the Executive Committee and Board of EVCA from 2007 to 2010, during which time he also chaired the Venture Capital Committee. Patrick has a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from UCL, London.

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William C. Weiss
Board Director

William C. Weiss is Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Promar Group LLC. He is a renowned global strategist, Board member and experienced leader in technology-enabled fields. For more than 40 years, he has been providing counsel and execution assistance to corporate leaders, Boards, investment funds, and high- net-worth investors around the world. The arenas in which Bill is involved include analytics, media, communications, computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, medical, energy, environmental and life sciences. His unique way of strategically analyzing and accessing the landscape offers a fresh framework for understanding how technology and change can open new possibilities.

Mr. Weiss calls his approach “Design a Future”©, a methodology that identifies four key principles necessary to gain and maintain success. Among those clients with whom Mr. Weiss has worked include Artificial Solutions, Discovery Communications, Ericsson, GE, IBM, Oxford Metrics Group, Canary, Qualcomm, SAS Institute, Silicon Image, Steelcase, and others.

His involvement includes Boards of Directors, Board Observer, Executive Advisory roles, executive leadership presentations and keynote addresses.

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Andrew Gilbert
Board Observer

In addition to his role advising the board at Telensa, Andrew Gilbert acts as the non- executive chairman of Wirepas Oy and as a director of Gildrew Limited. Prior to this, Andrew served as executive vice president of European Innovation Development of Qualcomm Europe, Inc., leading Qualcomm’s activity in wireless power including WiPowerTM handset charging technology and Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging technology. He acted as the executive adviser to Qualcomm until 2013. He also served as a member of Qualcomm’s executive committee.

Andrew joined Qualcomm in 2006 as president of Qualcomm Europe, Inc. where he provided strategic direction and oversight of all Qualcomm’s business development and operational activity in Europe, and served in various roles including president of MediaFLO Technologies and president of Qualcomm Internet Services.

Prior to joining Qualcomm, Andrew served as vice president and general manager of Flarion Technologies’ European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) regions, responsible for EMEA strategy and operations. His leadership contributions guided Flarion’s European business through technical and commercial validation with global operators such as T-Mobile and Vodafone, and ultimately to multiple deployments of FLASH-OFDM with T-Mobile in Slovakia and Germany, and with Digita in Finland. He has also worked for many leading global technology companies including Motorola and Racal.

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Fidel Manolopoulos
Board Observer

Fidel is a Vice President of Hermes GPE. He joined in 2017 to focus on growth investing and to bolster the firm’s direct growth equity capabilities. Fidel has a strong background in technology growth investing gained over several years at ViewPoint Capital and Kennet Partners and joins from Mojo Capital where he was recently leading direct investments. He holds an MA in computer science and business administration from the Technical University of Darmstadt.

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Ian Murphy
Board Observer

Ian Murphy is co-founder and Director of Plextek Ltd and Chairman of Plextek RFI . He started his professional career with Racal BCC working on tactical military radios before being one of the first employees in Vodafone where he developed the RF sections for the “Brick” handset. This involved the development of thin and thick film processes on ceramic and various associated manufacturing processes. From there he moved back into Military communications, IFF systems, flight control systems and CT2 before co-founding Plextek Ltd in 1989, the leading communications technology group that has since produced Plextek RFI, Telensa (street lighting control and smart cities), Blighter Surveillance Systems (electronic scanning radar) and Redtail Telematics (vehicle tracking).

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Leadership
Will Franks
Chief Executive Officer

Will is an accomplished business leader with 30 years’ experience in wireless technologies. Previously Will founded Ubiquisys, the leader in Small Cell technology for the mobile wireless industry, where he served as CTO and Board Member until the company was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $310M. Prior to that Will held senior roles at Lucent Technologies and Racal Radio.

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Julian Smith
Chief Financial Officer

Julian is a Chartered Accountant with 23 years senior experience in listed and privately held technology and technology related companies. Most recently he was the CFO for five years at multinational biotech services and IP licencing company Abzena plc until its acquisition by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in October 2018. He has completed two IPOs (Abzena and Imperial Innovations plc) and one takeover on AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Total funds raised to date exceed £370m through 13 fund raising events in four companies from venture capitalists, public equity and debt finance. He has 12 years listed Company CFO experience. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Arthur Anderson in 1990 following completion of an Engineering Science Degree at Oxford University.

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Will Gibson
Chief Commercial Officer and Founder

Will founded Telensa with Tim Jackson in 2005, and led the company as CEO for the first 10 years of profitable growth. He has unparalleled global experience as a pioneer of wireless smart street lighting, and in particular how its economic model underpins new smart city applications.

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Sue Thexton
Chief Sales Officer

Sue has more than 25 years of experience in high-growth software and technology industries. Previously Sue served as Senior Vice President of EMEA and LatAM for Brightcove, a cloud-based video platform, where she was focused on large-scale enterprise sales development. She also served as Global SVP Sales for V-Nova Ltd, a video-compression company. Before this, Sue worked at Macromedia for ten years, first as General Manager for Northern Europe then as EMEA Vice President. Sue also established Adobe’s UK and Northern Europe presence, launching Photoshop and Acrobat PDF.

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Gordon Davidson
EVP Global Partnerships & North America Region

Gordon is a hands-on executive with a proven record of creating value in technology driven companies. Over the past 30+ years, he has enjoyed a successful career, most recently as CEO for Cloverleaf Media, delivering innovative retail solutions creating new sources of customer data, and with Novatel Wireless as the senior exec leading sales in the Americas and Asia Pacific. Gordon was a leader in the early days of Qualcomm (then Ericsson), evangelizing and selling CDMA technology and services to wireless operators and OEM partners. He started AccessLine Technologies in Canada providing advanced follow-me services to Telecom operators, and began his career with Bell Canada where he held various senior positions in Sales, Operations, Engineering, and Finance. Gordon is the author of multiple patents granted and pending in the retail solutions segment.

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Jon Lewis
Chief Strategy Officer

In addition to his role as Chief Strategy Officer, Jon leads the Urban Data team at Telensa, which is building trusted platform and device technologies related to AI and Machine Learning in Smart Cities. He joined Telensa to broaden the company’s application portfolio and open new market segments. Jon holds a number of patents and has a PhD in engineering.

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Martin Wilks
Chief Technology Officer

Martin has 20 years senior experience in listed and privately-held technology companies. Most recently, he spent 5 years as Group VP of Development for Amino PLC, a pioneer in the field of IPTV. During this time, he helped grow the company through a number of successful acquisitions, leading the technical integrations. Prior to Amino, he was CTO at Harvard PLC and led the rebuilding of the development function to enable a successful sale and return of shareholder value. During his earlier career, Martin worked in the field of digital TV and bespoke communications, including a period at Hughes Network Systems, leading work on next-generation satellite hubs. Martin is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET.

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Keith Day
Chief Marketing Officer

Keith is a strategic B2B marketer with extensive experience in growth-stage technology companies. He joined Telensa from Cisco, where his US team supported service provider solutions including cellular IoT and municipal Wi-Fi. Recent leadership roles in growth-stage firms include Ubiquisys, acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $310m, and Cramer Systems, acquired by Amdocs in 2006 for $375m.

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Awards

  • The Queen's Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2018
  • The Queen's Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2018
  • Amazon Growing Business of the Year: Winner 2017
  • The Sunday Times Tech Track Ones to Watch 2017
  • The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 2017
  • The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 2018
  • The Global Cleantech 100: One to Watch 2017