Cleveland-area entrepreneurs David Levine and Michael Recker have received plenty of accolades for the Mr. Beams battery-operated, motion-sensing lights they first introduced more than a decade ago.
But perhaps the greatest validation came Tuesday afternoon, when Reuters reported that their business will soon be part of Amazon, the giant online seller of just about everything, and a major contributor to Mr. Beams’ early success.
Reuters reported that Amazon, in a deal valued at more than $1 billion, is expected to acquire Ring Inc., a California-based home security company that announced in January that it had purchased Mr. Beams for an undisclosed price.
“Ring home security products and services have delighted customers since day,” Amazon said in written statement. “We’re excited to work with this talented team and help them in their mission to keep homes safe and secure.”
The deal is perhaps the crowning milestone for two men whose original intention was to simply provide a light for a closet that had no wires, and for Levine, what had become an emotional quest after his grandmother fell and broke her hip one night because she did not want to turn on a light.
“Allowing people to prevent falls and live more safely for longer In their homes has been a driving force for the Mr. Beams line since then,” Levine told cleveland.com videographer Zachariah Durr in January after the sale to Ring was announced.
It’s also a source of pride and promotion for JumpStart, the Cleveland business-booster that was one of Mr. Beams early investors.
JumpStart Chief Executive Officer Ray Leach recently held up Mr. Beams alongside other local startups, such as CoverMyMeds and CardioInsight, that JumpStart aided and were later acquired be larger companies.
“In many ways, Mr. Beams is a model for using the advantages of a Midwestern base to build a tech company,” Leach wrote on crainscleveland.com in early February. “Levine and his team envisioned how an industry could change with new technology – in their case LEDs – but they also stayed patient, focusing on being efficient with their funding, and gaining popularity by making great products with a great team and letting their customers tell their story.”
And it wasn’t always easy.
“Starting a business is really uncomfortable and you have to learn to live with that,” Levine told Durr. ” . . . . There were days when I was very pessimistic about our chances.”
But Levine and Recker had faith in their ideas and their products.
“If you’re solving problems that people have and you’re doing it in an innovative way and you’re thinking it through, it takes away a lot of that discomfort,” Levine told Durr.
Read the full story at cleveland.com.