Apollo is a category-leading manufacturer and distributer of a wide range of consumer products including consumer electronics, radio-controlled vehicles, Airsoft guns and accessories and camping equipment. Apollo's primary competitive advantage stems from its distribution model, anchored by deep relationships with leading North American retailers.
Headquartered in Frisco, Texas, Apollo Brands is the culmination of three strategic acquisitions led by TCP. The original platform, Mach Speed Technologies, was acquired in February, 2011. The founder of Mach Speed had done a tremendous job building the leading distributer of "opening price point" MP3 and MP4 players and desired a partner that could assist in honing strategic growth initiatives and provide access to working capital for growth. TCP was attracted to Mach Speed because of its exceptional management team and dominant position in the "opening price point", consumer electronics niche. The original founder remains a key part of the Apollo team, serving as President of the Consumer Electronics division, and continues to drive extraordinary growth via the successful launch of new products such as Android tablets.
In January, 2012, TCP was fortunate to add JLab Audio to the Apollo Brands family. The founder of JLab had created the JBuds brand of earbuds and found success in working with Amazon.com as his primary distribution partner. TCP saw an exciting opportunity to introduce JLab earbuds to Mach Speed's strong retail distribution network and draw upon JLab's Amazon knowledge to tap online distribution of Mach's line-up of products. Equally compelling was the JLab team's extraordinary design and development skill set, which has since led to the introduction of many compelling products such as Bluetooth speakers, on-ear headphones and over-the-ear headphones.
Proving that some of life's most opportunistic moments can arrive at the most unexpected of times, Apollo Brands acquired Bear River International in the summer of 2012. One of TCP's Managing Directors sold his vehicle on-line and the buyer flew to Dallas for a test drive. A half hour later, the founder of Bear River and TCP had begun a relationship that would help take Apollo to "the next level". A former Senior Buyer at Wal-Mart, Bear River's founder had left that position and struck out on his own to take advantage of frequent "gaps" in that retailer's inventory. In need of working capital to support impressive growth, Bear River became Apollo's Outdoor Enthusiast division and now boasts several successful lines such as Black-Ops Airsoft, Ignite radio controlled vehicles, Bear Grylls (licensed) camping accessories and various Duck Dynasty (licensed) products.
TCP has worked closely with Apollo Brands to significantly expand its product line and distribution channels, arrange strong lending relationships to provide working capital for growth, consolidate back-office functions such as accounting and H/R to drive efficiencies and create a unified family of brands singularly focused on driving value creation across the capital structure. As a result, today's Apollo Brands has made the transition to a well-diversified, well-managed enterprise that is a significantly larger company.