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VaultRMS Acquired, Makes Its Software Free

The company offers tools for firefighters to track their exposure to harmful substances.

VaultRMS, which makes software to help firefighters track their exposure to harmful substances and carcinogens, has been acquired — and as a result, its product will now become free.

Envisage Technologies, which makes training and compliance software for public safety officials, is buying VaultRMS for an undisclosed amount. Since Envisage doesn’t charge a fee for users to access its FirstForward platform, VaultRMS’ Exposure Tracker will also be free.

“The way we had it before was we gave it for free to firefighters who had survived cancer, but we charged the individual $5 per month and if the agency rolled it out, we would [charge] $3 per month per firefighter,” said Christopher Memmott, VaultRMS’ chief executive officer and co-founder.

The two products fit together, Memmott said, because fire agencies are increasingly focusing on substance exposure in their training. They’re focusing on cancer prevention in particular.

Although much of the training in FirstForward is offered for free, others aren’t. Those paid courses are where Envisage makes its money.

VaultRMS’ acquisition happened fairly quickly for a startup. The company is about five years old. To compare, Socrata existed for 11 years before its recent acquisition.

VaultRMS had raised $1.3 million in seed money before the deal, with investors including venture capitalist Bill Miller and Right Side Capital.

The company has more than 300 agencies using Exposure Tracker, according to Memmott. But now that the software will be offered for free, he thinks that number is going to increase rather dramatically.

“Over the last five years we’ve been contacted by well over 1,000 agencies, and the biggest challenge many of them had were getting budget for our system,” Memmott said. “So now that the version that we had is going to be free, we’re expecting that thousands of agencies will be coming on board pretty quickly.”

Not that he’s worried about being able to on-board so many new customers quickly. He pointed to Envisage’s long tenure in the market, with its Acadis suite being about two decades old.

“They know government technology like the back of their hand,” he said.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.