Investment group

Security 101 partners with a large investment group to accelerate its growth


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla — Security 101, a national electronic security integration trading company, announced that it has partnered with the Gemspring Capital investment team to accelerate industry growth of security.

Security 101 is a leading provider of commercial security systems solutions and differentiates itself from its competitors with an industry-first franchising business model. The company has more than 50 locations in the continental United States and is now poised to develop a local presence in markets where there is potential for growth. Security 101 is well known for its people and culture and will focus on expansion through franchising, acquisitions and organic growth.

The Security 101 management team, led by Founder and CEO Steve Crespo, will continue to lead the business and be a significant shareholder of the company.

“We are delighted to partner with Gemspring during this next phase of growth and look forward to collaboratively pursuing the huge market opportunity that lies ahead,” said Crespo. “This partnership allows Security 101 to rapidly expand our presence while continuing to provide national and local customers with the best customer service in the security industry through our proven approach.

Crespo said Security Systems News exclusively how the investment partnership with Gemspring came to fruition.

“For us, like any group of reasonably smart people in business, you always look at what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong and you’re always looking for different ways to expand and grow the business,” he said. Explain. “We’re a franchise model, and that franchise model has honestly been great. It brought a lot of good growth, a lot of positive energy and culture – everything we are proud of about our organization.

“But we also look at the industry and we ask ourselves the question, seeing all these big guys buy the other big guys and consolidate, our point in the industry is that a lot of end users aren’t necessarily really drawn to necessarily doing business with some of these greats – it’s our perspective from what we learn from our clients. We asked ourselves, “What will be the next business that REALLY speeds up?” We believe that this company is us.

Investment opportunity

Crespo described Security 101 as “this relatively quiet company that is constantly growing, but which doesn’t necessarily hit us on the chest.”

“When I look at the industry, I say there is a tremendous opportunity to engage a lot more with national and global clients, but there is also an opportunity to really expand our global footprint, not necessarily to States. -United but beyond, maybe start with North America and from there we can go to other places.

“When we think of it as a business, my business partner [co-founder] Jim Pasquarello and I look at the business and say, “Well, so far we’ve built this business on our own. We have never taken out any type of business loan, we have never used anyone’s money other than our own, and we have constantly reinvested in the business. It’s been our model from day one – we’ve always been a debt-free business. We really felt it was time to make some significant investments to really add the fuel the business needed for truly accelerated growth.

Crespo noted that once the decision has been made to find an investment partner, it is time to “decide when and how”.

“All roads have continued to lead us into the world of private equity,” he said. “Ultimately what we wanted to do was find an investment partner who would have a similar philosophy to ours. We wanted a company that was really an investment group and not the kind of group that wants to invest and then try to manage.

“We started looking at different companies and when we partnered with Gemspring it quickly became clear that they were looking to invest in strong and stable companies with a good leadership team and huge potential to grow. growth. They really like the security space, they like service-oriented businesses, and they like everything on the tech / software side. We kind of tailored every bucket they were looking for.

Crespo continued. “From there we started early in the summer to work with them on the process and really get to know each other well and understand that it was fine. That’s when we made this deal with them, and we’re pretty damn excited about it. “

Look ahead

With the investment agreement in place, Crespo outlined the next step for Security 101.

“Where we’re going from here is interesting,” he noted. “Naturally, our franchise model has been really, without a doubt, the basis of who we are – it’s who we are. This will obviously continue to be a major strategic part of what we are building.

“But what we’ll also do, alongside that, is that we’ll start building company-owned sites that will either be organically or through acquisition by looking for quality integrators who are a good match on the plan. cultural and philosophical to our company and which this as complements to develop our company.

Crespo noted that the company-owned locations will be concentrated in the United States and the rest of North America, “but with the potential in the future to go beyond that. Anything we do beyond the United States will be timed and very strategic. “

In addition, Security 101 plans to add different levels of support and services for its franchises and customers in order to provide more professional services.

“This is an important part of what we have been working on in recent years, and it has been a tremendous differentiator for us,” Crespo said of providing professional services. “We’re not just a company that goes out and installs and provides services, but actually brings professional services to a level where we work with IT and physical security services and really hone in on doing a true integration,” not just plug in and play. “

“We see this as a big opportunity in the space, so we’re going to put a lot more energy into being able to go out there and provide the right level of service that domestic and global customers are looking for.”

Without providing details, Crespo noted that Gemspring had made a “very large investment” in Security 101 for the foreseeable future, joking that “the gas entering the rocket will be plentiful.” That being said, it’s also going to be done very strategically in a very smart way. “

Michael Walton, President of Security 101, added, “Today’s customer demands attention to detail that includes in-depth product knowledge and a personalized approach to sales and service – each of these, Security 101 has developed. a positive reputation for delivering on a consistent basis. You can only achieve this with the highest quality teams, and our success has always been directly linked to our company culture and the people who created it.

“Steve and his team have built a high quality organization as evidenced by his reputation in the market for providing exceptional service to his customers,” noted Alex Shakibnia, Managing Director of Gemspring. “We believe the commercial security integration market is poised for growth as customers increasingly look to strategic thinking partners like Security 101 to manage the ever-changing security challenges and the convergence of physical security and cybersecurity. We look forward to working with Steve and the entire Security 101 team to expand Security 101’s customer base, service and technology offerings, and its geographic footprint. “