Note: CE Pro will have full coverage and plenty of opinions on the Bravas Group later in the year. Below is the press release on the investment and merger.
Presidio Investors today announced a $75 million private equity investment that merges 15 independent smart home design-build firms across the United States, creating Bravas LLC, an integrator of electronic lifestyle technologies into custom-built “intelligent spaces” where you live, work, and play.
The investment launches a national network of luxury technology integrators, operating as one brand, working across North America with architects, builders, remodelers, interior designers and successful owners of one or more properties, using lighting, shading, climate, entertainment, smart home, voice, wellness, security, surveillance, networking, energy, power, and other technologies, to transform how custom homes and offices are designed, organized and operated.
Bravas is based in Overland Park, Kan., with locations in 13 states, annual revenues around $75 million, and a team of more than 285 professionals including designers, engineers, installers, technicians and programmers that have earned hundreds of industry awards and certifications.
In 2018, Bravas locations collectively completed more than 3,500 residential and commercial projects.
Bravas will use the funding to expand its network of trade partners, build new software and business systems, reinvent service and support, invest in talent, and expand the company with targeted acquisitions throughout the United States and Canada.
Short History of Smart-Home Roll-ups
“To have an investment platform, operating as one national brand, changes the way business is done in our industry,” comments Ryan Anderson, chief executive officer of Bravas.
“We are stronger together, sharing local and national resources that shape our ability to accelerate growth and improve the homeowner experience,” says Anderson. “We will bring the industry’s best dealers into the Bravas family and continue to focus on the life-long local relationships we build with our customers.”
“High-profile business leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, lawyers, doctors, entertainers, celebrities – these are the customers who rely on us to personalize, customize and support the luxury technologies we build seamlessly into their home. Bravas gives us the resources, tools, 24/7 support, training, and the ability to deliver the highest levels of professionalism and amazing client care,” says Anderson.
With Anderson at the helm, the management team comprises owner/operators and key executive additions, including: Jay Vandermyde, chief operating officer of Bravas, from J.J. Orion in Minneapolis, Minn.; Doug Klein, chief financial officer; with extensive executive experience in the custom installation and consumer electronics industry; Sean Weiner, chief technology officer, from Starr Systems in Baltimore, Md.; Robert Wheeler, director of sales, from J.J. Orion in Austin, Texas.; Tracey Westbrook, director of Human Resources and Administration, from Home Theater Technologies in Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas.; Marie Devlin, operations manager, from Smart Systems in Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas.; and Esty Frakes, accounting manager, from Elevated Electronics.
“Where the business of luxury technology integration is fragmented into smaller businesses operating only in local markets, Presidio is partnering with Bravas management and the initial 15 mergers to create a clear national leader,” says Karl Schade, managing partner and founder of Presidio.
“The benefits for our customers will come from the resources of a larger organization, shared expertise and services that create a unique experience for luxury homeowners — and we anticipate growing this investment with acquisitions across the nation.”
The companies uniting to create Bravas are:
- Audio Dimensions in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Little Rock, Ark.
- Audio Intersection in Atlanta, Ga.
- Audio Video Hi-Fi Sales in Cherry Hill, N.J
- Audio Video Innovations in Dallas, Texas
- Digital Interiors in Alpharetta, Ga.
- Digitech Custom Audio and Video in Indianapolis, Ind.
- Elevated Electronics in Kansas City, Kan.
- Home Theater Technologies in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Imagine Audio Video in Nashville, Tenn.
- J.J. Orion in Minneapolis, Minn., and Austin, Texas.
- SES Design Group in Houston, Texas.
- SmartSystems in Dallas, Texas.
- Spectrum Technology Integrators in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
- Starr Systems Design in Baltimore, Md.
- The Homeworks Group in Pleasanton and San Francisco, Calif.
Owners of each business retain a major stake in Bravas. Prior to the merger, they have been working together as independents — many of them members since 2015 of the BRAVAS Group Cooperative, founded and directed by industry veterans Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt of VITAL MGMT in St. Louis, Mo.
The cooperative is dedicated to mentoring member companies and optimizing the operating performance, metrics, and business systems of custom integrators.
“We look forward to working with Bravas as it continues to evolve from a group of collaborative independents into a major force in the custom integration luxury market,” says Starkey.