Acuity Brands, (NYSE: AYI), which is headquartered in Atlanta, announced on Tuesday that it has picked up artificial intelligence accelerator accelerator Rockpile Ventures. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Seattle-based Rockpile Ventures is a developer of early-stage artificial intelligence (AI) companies. Acuity said in Tuesday’s press release that the deal to buy Rockpile Ventures better positioned the company for growth in solutions, software and cloud application development. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated distributors’ digital transformations, which included using more cloud-based software applications.
Acuity now holds Rockpile’s equity interests in various AI startups. Rockpile’s portfolio technologies have been deployed by enterprises across the energy, manufacturing and retail verticals.
Acuity also announced that Peter Han, the co-founder of Rockpile Ventures who spent 15 years at Microsoft, is now president of Acuity’s newly-named Intelligent Spaces Group (ISG), which was formerly referred to as Acuity’s Intelligent Buildings business. ISG includes Atrius and Distech Controls. In addition, Rockpile co-founder Dinesh Narayanan, formerly head of Microsoft’s devices incubation group, is now vice president of business development of ISG.
“Attracting talented leaders is at the heart of our ability to continue delivering on our growth strategy,” said Acuity Brands CEO Neil Ashe. “We are thrilled to welcome Peter Han, Dinesh Narayanan and Rockpile Ventures to Acuity. Peter is well-known for driving business transformation with hardware and software solutions across verticals, and Dinesh, along with the Rockpile team, have supported that direction by building stakes in leading edge AI startups.”