How does a founder and company leader go about telling their employees they’ve been acquired in the middle of a pandemic?
Well, you pick up the phone, of course, if you’re Felicite Moorman, CEO of STRATIS IoT, which was recently acquired by Texas-based real estate software company RealPage.
Because much of the 70-person team hadn’t seen each other in almost half a year, Moorman, cofounder and CTO Ryan Buchert and the rest of their leadership team divided up their employees based on relationships, cleared their schedules and got to dialing.
“What, do we do a Zoom call to announce an acquisition? That just didn’t seem right,” Moorman told Technical.ly. “I didn’t want anyone to find out through a press release, and I knew because I had an existing relationship with RealPage and a lot of them didn’t, that I’d want to talk them through it and explain why I was excited.”
The acquisition came a few years after Moorman said the companies began to realize that making technology that could work together — STRATIS’ smart home systems with RealPage’s property management systems — would be beneficial for them and the property management clients that previously had to input data to multiple systems.
STRATIS’ focus is on making smart home elements like tech-controlled heating, cooling, lighting and door locks to the multifamily market. Its tech lets property managers and residents control these options, and since its founding in 2013 has grown to be used by residents of more than 380,000 units in the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and Japan.
“STRATIS IoT positions RealPage to enter a burgeoning market for smart access control, smart home devices and revolutionary new bulk Wi-Fi networks. New breakthroughs in cost now make smart access control, smart home devices and high speed Wi-Fi affordable for existing apartments,” said Steve Winn, CEO of RealPage, in a statement. “What STRATIS IoT does is connect all of these smart systems into a single, seamless resident app with one user credential for each resident, which enables owners to recognize more revenue through monetization of amenities and enables residents to enjoy easier living and working from the next generation of connected apartment buildings.”
Neither company disclosed financial details of the deal, but Moorman confirmed that STRATIS’ 70 Philly-based employees aren’t making moves from its East Falls HQ anytime soon.
In fact, the acquisition will allow for some expedited growth, she said: The company’s added eight new positions in the last few weeks, and has plans for more aggressive hiring. And with RealPage’s 7,000 employees, STRATIS has room jump into some new projects, the CEO added.
“Not just because of the pandemic, but what we really need to build is a bespoke customized platform for internet,” Moorman said. “This is a ground-up platform. We would never do this on our own, we don’t have the people power. But now we’re backed with the best multi-family tech services company.”
P.S. STRATIS IoT is a nominee for Growth Company of the Year in the 2020 Technical.ly Awards. Voting is open through Monday, Sept. 21, and winners will be announced at Philly Tech Week 2020 presented by Comcast’s virtual Signature Party on Thursday, Sept. 24.