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Drako pays $50m cash for Brivo

Drako pays $50m cash for Brivo Barracuda Networks and Eagle Eye Networks founder buys cloud-based access control company, said move to cloud-based systems is accelerating

AUSTIN, Texas–Dean Drako, founder of Barracuda Networks and Eagle Eye Networks, today announced his purchase of Brivo Systems for $50 million cash.

Eagle Eye Networks is a cloud-based provider of video surveillance systems. Brivo is a cloud-based access control provider and a pioneer of cloud systems in physical security.

“It was too much of an opportunity to pass up,” Drako told Security Systems News. Plus, he said Eagle Eye is “getting more and more requests to integrate its video system with access control.”

“[Physical security's move to] the cloud is inevitable and it's a huge opportunity,” Drako said, noting that the research group MarketsandMarkets predicts the global market for access control will be $16.3 billion in 2017, and cloud is expected to be a growth area in this market sector, Drako said.

He called Brivo “the dominant player in access control in the industry” and noted that Brivo “has relationships in place with most the integrators in the industry.”

Drako acquired Brivo from its former owner The Duchossois Group, a Chicago-based holding group.

Brivo co-founder and CEO Steve Van Till will remain CEO of Brivo. The entire Brivo team will stay intact and Drako will serve as chairman.

Eagle Eye and Brivo will have an integrated offering ready for the market by July. It will use open APIs from both companies to combine Brivo's OnAir access control and Eagle Eye's camera system for a “bi-directional” solution. That means that the user will have “video verification of door-events and door-event visibility in video.”

Drako emphasized that it will be a 100-percent cloud combination with all of the benefits of the “true cloud” systems such as flexibility, scalability, cyber-secure remote management and flexible on-premise cloud storage.”

Steve Van Till told SSN that Brivo “has done lots of video integrations over the years … but this is the fastest integration we've ever done.”

“We were able to get to the first stage [of the integration] within three weeks,” he said.

Why so fast? “The API, this is a full-on professional IT-grade restful API. It's the quality of the API, the documentation, the breadth of the API,” he said. SSN has reported on the importance of APIs in Eagle Eye's alliance with Diebold.

Brivo and Eagle Eye will also continue to design separate systems. “We are not going to try to force customers to go with a combo package,” Drako said. Both companies will continue to integrate and work with other door systems and other camera systems, though Drako said: “Will they work better [with Eagle Eye and Brivo] together? Yeah.”

This will enable businesses to upgrade to a combined Eagle Eye/Brivo system when their budgets allow.

The combined solution will be particularly attractive to small- and medium-sized businesses. “About 80 percent of the business addresses in the U.S. are in the small and medium category,” Van Till said. “In that segment, a combined solution is the most desirable because most don't have a professional director of security and they want everything to work together.”

Asked if Eagle Eye and Brivo teams will work together to develop products beyond this integration, Drako said there were “no concrete plans in place right now” but that it's possible that engineers from each group would collaborate in the future.

Drako is an experienced entrepreneur who founded five successful companies including DAI, Boldfish, ICManage and Baracuda Networks. Barracuda went public in 2013 in a $2 billion IPO.

The customer base and the subscription business model for Barracuda is very similar to Eagle Eye and Brivo's. “It's a model I know well,” he said.  

Drako predicts his investment in Brivo will “help accelerate Brivo's growth and trajectory [and also help propel] the adoption of cloud.”

So where is the physical security industry right now in terms of cloud adoption?

The benefits of cloud-based systems—lower upfront cost, operating efficiency, ROI, flexibility, scalability, cybersecurity and redundancy, among others—is becoming more and more well known, he said.

“The amount of cloud-based video versus traditional video that's out there right now is miniscule. The amount of cloud-based access control out there is not-so-miniscule. But [cloud-based systems] as a percentage [of all systems] is very, very small.”

Drako surmised that it will take eight to 10 years to get to a 50- to 75 percent penetration rate of cloud-based access control and video systems.

However, Drako said the shift to cloud is “well underway.” Many customers are “waiting for the next upgrade cycle” but they're eyeing cloud. And, systems integrators are onboard as well, he said. “There are very few installers or integrators that I talk to who are not interested in the cloud. They all want to get trained up so they can have cloud [offerings] in their portfolio,” Drako said.

“It's coming, it's here and it's exciting,” Drako said. “Brivo and Eagle Eye are in the right spot.”

Imperial Capital advised Brivo in the deal. Security Systems News interviewed Imperial Capital's John Mack about the implications of the deal for security installers. Read that story here.


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