Are you surprised that SnapAV acquired outdoor-TV maker SunBriteTV? I am. It seems an odd acquisition for a manufacturer and distributor of peripherals such networking gear, loudspeakers, mounts, multiroom A/V, video screens, power protection and the like.
SunBriteTV makes … TVs. Why would SnapAV want to mess with displays?
It is true, as SnapAV CEO John Heyman tells CE Pro, that SunBriteTV complements SnapAV’s line of Episode outdoor speakers, and that the outdoor-entertainment category is big and growing.
But still … it’s a display! Yucky.
The first comment posted this morning on Jason Knott’s story about the acquisition was this from Don Bendell:
Personally, I’m not sure this was the best use of their money. I really thought building enclosures like Apollos would have been a better path.
Being in the video industry is a “craps roll”
Building enclosures are a lifetime investment allowing a variety of TV’s to be swapped out as technology changes year to year.
In the past, SnapAV has added name-brand products like URC, Labor Saving Devices, SureCall and Atlona to its portfolio – through distribution partnerships, not acquisitions.
SnapAV is an extremely powerful force in the home technology channel, with thousands of loyal dealers who enjoy good products, strong margins, the industry’s best e-commerce portal and some of the best customer service in the business … not to mention protected lines that are not sold direct to consumer.
Now that we know SnapAV is willing to expand its traditional arsenal of goods through acquisitions, who do you think it would – or should – acquire next?
Here are some of my thoughts. Add yours to the comments below.
If I recall correctly, SnapAV started out selling home theater seating, but they don’t appear to do so now. That would seem like an obvious acquisition for the company, but then again … That kind of product would be fairly simple (and profit-packed) for SnapAV to source itself through its team in Asia.
SnapAV has a gaping hole in security, with no alarm systems in their portfolio – just some might fine surveillance systems.
Elk Products might be a good one with its M1 security and home automation line, with the SHaaS (smart home as a service) provided by end powered by Connect One, and up-and-comer that also powers Bosch and DMP systems.
Another good one might be Resolution Products, specifically the Helix line powered by SHaaS provider SecureNet. Helix is a streamlined product line that is easy to set up and install, and it’s got some modern-day touches that Elk doesn’t offer. I doubt Resolution is ready to sell now, though.
As a long shot, I like Abode for SnapAV. Abode is the start-up I raved about in August. It’s both simple and powerful – just perfect for A/V dealers looking to get into the security business. Abode is just now shipping, so it’s probably way too early to sell the company.
SnapAV seeks to connect everything with an IP address to its OvrC remote monitoring and management service. Krika does that and more. This little French company would have plenty of IP – the intellectual property kind – to SnapAV.
Like Krika, ihiji has some nice IP – both kinds – for remote system monitoring and management. At CEDIA the company launched ServiceManager, a much-needed tool for dealers to operate recurring-revenue businesses.
Ihiji has taken a good chunk of funding lately, so it’s unlikely to sell at this time.
So now SnapAV has TVs and speakers for the outdoors. What’s next in that category? I’m with Don Bendell on this one – outdoor TV enclosures like those from Apollo Enclosures would be a good one.
How about Soundcast? Again … probably easier to source products like that.
Since SnapAV is going all IP on us, we have to imagine that the company will get heavier into home automation. They currently re-sell URC Total Control products, but they are sure to want something more modular and mass-markety.
Zipato might be a good one, with its modular architecture that enables control of so many systems via so many protocols, while maintaining an intuitive programming platform. I could imagine SnapAV building on this platform with new pieces of hardware to (literally) snap into the Zipato foundation.
In this vein, SnapAV might consider MiOS, the developer of the Z-Wave-centric Vera home-control platform. The issue here would be that Vera is so entrenched in the DIY market that I wonder if SnapAV could pull it out of that channel.
How about Wink? I kid you not. SnapAV could easily pull the product out of the DIY market and make it pro-only. But they won’t.
SnapAV is already re-selling SureCall cell-booster products, but an acquisition in this category would definitely make sense. Imagine being able to link cell boosters into the OvrC ecosystem for remotely monitoring the local cell service.
I can definitely see SnapAV getting into the door lock business and there are jillions of existing companies to choose from. My guess, however, is that SnapAV will source its own products from overseas.
SnapAV naturally needs a multiroom wireless audio solution. Obviously they can’t buy Sonos but maybe Denon will put its Heos on the market someday. Fusion Research maybe, but I’m thinking more DIY, maybe something like Voco.
Motors! SnapAV needs some motorized stuff, most notably mounts and window coverings. There were more than a dozen exhibitors in each of these categories at CEDIA Expo 2015.
Window coverings would be a trickier acquisition since many of these products are sold primarily through window-and-shading shops and require customization at the factory level. Still, there could be some interesting implications if SnapAV were to lure some of those trades into its world. Very interesting indeed.
Hopefully we got your juices flowing here. What are your thoughts? Please leave your ideas in the COMMENTS section below. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – JULIE JACOBSON