Ring has acquired local LED maker Wireless Environment, a deal that generated "a big return" for JumpStart Inc. and the individuals who invested in the company, according to co-founder David Levine.
The Mayfield Village-based company — which makes the Mr. Beams line of LED products — is now an independent unit within Ring, a California company that sells internet-connected home security products, including a doorbell that can send audio and video to your smartphone.
The companies aren't revealing the size of the deal, but Levine noted that his investors did "really well."
"Being able to give them a big return is extremely rewarding," he said.
Levine says the new "Ring Beams" division will continue to grow now that it's part of Ring, which has raised more than $200 million in venture capital.
The local company has been growing quickly in recent years: It generated "north of $25 million" in revenue in 2017, Levine said. That's up from $15.9 million in 2015 and $10.2 million in 2014, according to numbers the company previously submitted to Crain's for our list of the fastest-growing companies in the region (it was ranked in the top 10 both years).
The Ring Beams unit has 26 employees today, including 20 in Northeast Ohio, Levine said. He continues to serve as president and co-founder Michael Recker is still chief technology officer.
Ring bought the company "to integrate smart, energy-efficient lights into more of its security devices and release new, standalone outdoor security lights," according to a news releaseannouncing the deal.
In the release, Ring founder Jamie Siminoff noted that both companies share a commitment to reducing neighborhood crime.
"David, Mike, and the whole Mr. Beams team have built a strong business and created a line of impressive technologies and patents around what we believe is the future of outdoor security lighting," Siminoff stated.
Levine and Recker founded Wireless Environment in 2006. They went on to raise just $1.1 million in capital from investors, which helped make this deal especially lucrative for those who funded the company, including JumpStart, which owned shares until the deal closed.
The company also grew with the help of loans from the state-funded Innovation Ohio Loan Fund and the Innovation Fund at Lorain County Community College. During a conference call with both JumpStart and Crain's, Levine said the assistance the company received over the years helped take it from "kindergarten to graduating college."
"We're sort of a poster child for all these programs that are set up in Northeast Ohio," he said.
The announcement was made to coincide with media day at CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, but the deal technically closed in November.
Levine admits that luck played a role in helping the deal happen: Siminoff, Ring's founder, was previously familiar with the Mr. Beams product line, but he only started talking to the company after Levine's brother-in-law bumped into one of his friends while working out at a CrossFit in the Los Angeles area. That friend introduced the company to Siminoff, who visited Wireless Environment's office during the 2017 NBA Finals.