Brivo acquired by Eagle Eye Networks Founder Dean Drako for $50M

June 11, 2015
Acquisition to result in an unprecedented combination of cloud-based security offerings

Brivo on Thursday announced that the company has been acquired by Dean Drako, the founder, president and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks, for $50 million. As the owner, Drako will serve as Brivo’s chairman moving forward while Steve Van Till, Brivo’s president and CEO, will continue to lead the company.

Brivo’s cloud-based access control system currently services over six million users and over 100,000 access points. Eagle Eye Networks, which made its debut in the surveillance industry in early 2014, offers users a true cloud-based video management system.

Brivo will soon begin selling a solution that unifies their OnAir cloud-based access control platform with Eagle Eye’s video technology. While Brivo’s product will be integrated into the Eagle Eye platform and vice versa, Drako said that the two companies will remain as two separate entities operating independently from one another.

“The cooperation level will be high between them, but they will be operating as two separate companies,” explained Drako.

When it comes to the companies’ respective product roadmaps, Drako said that he doesn’t expect there to be any “major changes.” Brivo previously announced plans to integrate its technology with Eagle Eye earlier this year at ISC West which, according to Van Till, is the single most important feature of Brivo’s roadmap and is something that actually predates the acquisition.

Van Till said this will mark the first time in the industry that two native cloud companies have integrated platforms with one another leveraging web application programming interfaces (APIs).  

“That does a number of things that I think are pretty interesting,” said Van Till. “One is that for Brivo, which has been working with other video companies for many years, we’ve seen a lot of APIs and the Eagle Eye API offers easily 10 times the features, performance and access to data of anything else we’ve ever seen. That allows us to create a much richer experience with the video more fully embedded in our application. When people talk about integrating access control and video, a lot of those have been superficial, whereas this integration will allow it to go very deep. In the opposite direction, we’re able to feed more information over to the Eagle Eye system so that we can use event data to help pinpoint timeline information that might be where something of interest took place.”

While there is always some flux in any company when ownership changes hands, Van Till said that there will be close to 100 percent retention of Brivo’s current staff.  

“I think the most important things is that 100 percent of the senior management is continuing, so people who are in charge of sales, operations, finance, and engineering – that’s 100 percent at the vice president level, the director level and programmer level. We’re still going to be the same company in terms of personnel,” said Van Till.

While the acquisition will obviously give both Eagle Eye and Brivo the ability to offer a more complete solution to customers, especially new accounts, Drako said that it is important to note that both platforms will continue to integrate with other video and access control systems.

John Mack, executive vice president, co-head of investment banking and head of mergers & acquisitions at Imperial Capital, which served as an advisor to Brivo on the sale, said that Brivo had the “pioneer’s dilemma” early on in their history given the low adoption of cloud-based solutions in security initially, but he said that has changed in recent years as the technology has really started to hit its stride.

“People now recognize the value of managed service business models. Moving things into the cloud starts to make more sense and this trend of trading capex for opex has started to take hold,” said Mack. “That was a nice wind under their sails and along that path; years ago they saw the integration of video with their offering. They had kind of a one-off product they were doing with ADT for years and more recently, they made a purposeful effort to really expand that video offering in partnership with a few other technology providers to build out the video side of their offering. But it was clear that was going to be a big, big focus going forward to build out more with video, build out their own capability as opposed to partnering, so it was really a jigsaw puzzle fit when you saw what Eagle Eye had done. They needed access control and Brivo needed that from-scratch video capability.”

Mack believes that the next evolutionary step for these companies is the integration of an intrusion alarm panel capability, which will essentially give them the ability to provide a soup-to-nuts offering to customers.

“If you look at bigger access control integrations, the alarm panel is built into the access control panel. Its’ functionality is in the access control system, but that hasn’t been the case in the Brivo model where it is access control only,” added Mack.  

Drako, who also founded IT appliance maker Barracuda Networks and helped grow the firm into a $2 billion company, said the reason that a majority of companies today are leveraging the cloud for so many different services that they use on a daily basis, such as email, file sharing and phone systems among others, is not only for the cost savings they provide, but also due to the flexibility and ease of scalability that they offer.

With that being said, the financial benefits of the cloud cannot be understated. According to a Rackspace survey of 1,300 cloud users, 88 percent said that they achieved savings using cloud-based services, while 56 percent said they actually saw increased profits. Another 60 percent of respondents were able to reduce their IT staff or redeploy them elsewhere and 49 percent said they were able to grow their business through cloud use.

“It is definitely dominating the traditional IT space. People love it. Why do people love it? It has financial benefits all around,” said Drako. “There are also other benefits and flexibility is a big one. Flexibility to add users, delete users, grow quickly – I can use a whole bunch this month and not use a whole bunch next month – without having to invest in hardware. It also offers hyper-scalability, which is the ability to go from one or 10 or 20 of something to 1,000 or 10,000 of something overnight.”   

Eventually, Drako believes that these same growth drivers for cloud in the traditional IT market will make their way into physical security.

Moving forward, Van Till believes that the acquisition will solidify Eagle Eye and Brivo as the top providers of cloud-based security solutions in the industry.

“Frankly, one of the things that we never had developed natively within the Brivo system is a really strong video solution. We’ve worked with a lot of fine partners, but we didn’t have something that was fully our own and had the intimate relationship that we now do (with Eagle Eye) and I think, from my point-of-view, that really completes the offering for our customer base,” said Van Till. 

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.