Reno’s Breadware sold to Colorado company; owners focused on spin-off Ioterra
RENO, Nev. — Daniel Price wasn’t sure if the deal would go through.
It was early March, and Price and Danny DeLaveaga, co-founders of Breadware, had just signed a term sheet to sell their Reno-headquartered Internet of Things (IoT) product development firm.
And then, before the ink was dry, the coronavirus pandemic slowed the U.S. economy to a crawl.
“We signed the term sheet for the purchase, and then the whole world fell off a cliff,” Price said in a video interview with the NNBW. “So I was stressed to all hell throughout March as we were finalizing the details, because it felt like the whole deal could unravel.”
A few white-knuckled weeks later, Price’s stress levels subsided.
In mid-April, Breadware officially announced it was acquired by StoneAge Inc., a manufacturer of industrial water-blast tools and automated equipment headquartered in Durango, Colorado.
Price said the financial terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.
StoneAge, Price said, has been a Breadware customer for the past two years, which played a role in their decision to sell to the Colorado-based company. Moreover, StoneAge, a 50-year-old company, has weathered recessions in the past.
“We knew them well,” he said. “And they have a really strong culture, so that resonated with us. They talked us through their 10-year vision and it was exciting to us. We could see Breadware being apart of it.”
Price said the entire Breadware team, which includes 12 full-time employees and “a number of part-timers and contractors,” was acquired in the purchase. Breadware will continue to operate independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary to StoneAge, according to an April 9 press release.
Since launching in 2015, Breadware has designed and engineered IoT products for customers such as Target, Gates Coroporation, OnePlus Systems and Ceasars Entertainment. Notably, Breadware, which relocated from Santa Barbara to Reno in 2017, was honored locally by NCET as the tech startup of the year for 2018.
“Their focus and expertise will help us bring automated solutions to market faster and allow us to better serve our customers with the products of the future,” Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge, said in the release. “In addition, Breadware will continue to serve clients outside of industrial cleaning which will expose us to new ideas and cutting-edge technology that we can incorporate into our products for the industrial cleaning industry.”
Why did Price and DeLaveaga decide to sell Breadware?
The co-founders are focusing on growing Ioterra — a division within Breadware that was not include in the acquisition — that has spun off as an independent company, Price said.
Launched in May 2019, Ioterra is an online marketplace for companies to buy and sell services and solutions related to IoT development, said Price, CEO of Ioterra.
“The reason why Ioterra exists is because IoT is this huge and evolving sector,” he added.
He’s not kidding. Global spending on IoT was expected to hit roughly $750 billion in 2019, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report last June.
“But most buyers that spend money,” Price explained, “do so very fearfully because the sector is so ‘wild west’ that a lot of the capital gets deployed and they don’t get a return on investment. And it’s because they hire the wrong companies, they purchase the wrong technologies, and the list goes on.
“Ioterra is trying to tame it a little bit, put up road signs, put up clear categories, and really help buyers connect with the right technology partners.”
According to Ioterra, the company has referred more than 150 custom IoT initiatives to service companies within its platform.
Price said thanks to the Breadware sale to StoneAge, Ioterra essentially got 18 months of capital. The company is currently a team of seven people, but expects to grow in 2020 and beyond.
After all, the COVID pandemic has actually created more business for Ioterra, said Price, noting that many companies in the IoT sector are searching for new sales channels during the economic slowdown.
“If their pipelines have dried up, they’re coming to us to try something new,” he said.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.