Breakout Technologies, Inc: Goliath’s First Equity Partner
The story of Floyd Roberts and Breakout Technologies, Inc.
Written by Floyd Roberts
“I owned Breakout Software and decided to form an equity partnership with Goliath Technologies over 8 years ago. My product fit the Goliath sales model and now it is being used by 100’s of enterprise customers. I was able to increase the value of my equity and compensation to a much greater degree than if I tried to bootstrap or raise VC Funding. The collaboration with Goliath Sales & Marketing, led by Thomas Charlton, has resulted in a better understanding of the marketplace, and a more targeted and focused development effort. As my product evolved, it was better able to leverage the marketplace opportunities for faster and more sustained growth than otherwise would have been possible. The Goliath partnership has been positive and rewarding from the start.”
-Floyd Roberts, VP Development GPM Product Line, Goliath Technologies
Before Breakout Technologies, Inc.
In 1985 I co-founded the software company Triton Technologies, Inc. in Red Bank, NJ. I did the original development of our remote control/remote access software product called CoSession, and then built and managed the CoSession development team. CoSession initially provided the ability to have screen and keyboard control of another computer by dial-in over a modem, and then later across a local area network. This type of technology was the forerunner of products today like Microsoft RDP and Citrix VDI.
In addition to direct and channel sales to SMB and enterprise size businesses, we focused on OEM and private label deals. Our largest OEM was with IBM, who bundled the host component of CoSession on every ThinkPad laptop to provide remote control support from their support center. This was one of the earliest uses of this type of technology for providing remote ‘hands-on’ support. With these bundle deals, CoSession was able to achieve the number one unit market share position in the Remote Access Client Software category, as tracked by International Data Corporation (IDC).
Another of our OEM partners was Artisoft. In the early 90s, Artisoft had one of the first local area networking products called LANtastic, which competed with the leading LAN product called Netware from Novell. CoSession provided a remote access method to LANtastic networks and competed with a similar feature offering from Netware.
My partner and I grew Triton to about 50 employees by the time we sold Triton Technologies to Artisoft in December 1995. I remained for a year with Artisoft after the acquisition of Triton, managing the CoSession development, before moving on to work on my next venture.
Breakout Technologies, Inc. the Early Days
After leaving Artisoft in early 1997, I started working on a software product for monitoring and collecting performance metrics from Windows based computers. I established Breakout Technologies, Inc. (Breakout Software) in 1998, and by 2000 I had evolved the performance monitoring software I had been developing into the product called MonitorIT, which I began marketing and selling.
From the beginning, MonitorIT had the concept of using an Agent installed on every computer being monitored, and connecting to a central MonitorIT server which managed the associated Microsoft Access database (the database used later evolved to Microsoft SQL Server) for saving the collected metrics and other information about the monitored computers. The MonitorIT server also managed the alerting and reporting it provided and used an Internet Explorer browser-based User Interface with various dynamic displays.
With Breakout, I never had more than 1 or 2 employees, and for a majority of the time I did the development, support, marketing, and sales myself. To some extent, I could look bigger than I was. I was early to use the Google key-word search click-through as advertising, and I was able to build a good product and an international customer base, including Liberty Mutual and ADP. However, it was clear I could not scale nor compete with the resources I had as I watched my competitors, such as Solar Winds, grow rapidly. By 2009 I began to consider looking for a company to acquire Breakout and/or partner with, so I retained an investment banker who had worked with us on selling Triton to Artisoft.
Decision to Work with Goliath Technologies
Through the investment banker, I found Thomas Charlton. We began discussions of an “equity partnership” that I found unique. The equity partnership focused on the complementary skills of the team to grow revenues. I would contribute the product and some customers, and Goliath would add sales and marketing expertise, which was considerable.
In my discussions with Thomas, it was clear he had an appreciation and respect for software architects and developers, the technology they create, and an understanding that success comes from good products as well as good sales and marketing, and that a successful team has both.
I decided this was a great opportunity to gain resources, particularly sales and marketing, management expertise, and an opportunity to accelerate MonitorIT’s growth in the marketplace. In October 2010, I moved forward with Thomas, and Breakout Technologies, Inc. was acquired by Goliath Technologies.
Outcomes to Date
When you begin a partnership, it is always with some trepidation because, despite the best intentions of all participants, sometimes things do not work out for whatever reason. I can say, while conditions have changed in the marketplace and the company has grown with other equity partnerships, Goliath (Thomas) has delivered on his commitments. And any issue that did arise we were able to work through it together with both sides being flexible and reasonable.
Thomas enhanced the development team and built a sales and marketing team focused on the successful marketing and sale of my products. To date we have added 100’s of large enterprise customers, service providers, and millions in non-dilutive revenue. I still have a leadership role with the development team and continue to help guide the evolution and development of my products. And, when the time comes to monetize my equity through an exit, I will realize much more value than I would have if I had opted for a venture capital partner.
If you are interested in an equity partnership with Goliath Technologies email firstname.lastname@example.org.