Avatar Engineering Welcomes WideBlue
We’re excited to announce that Pivot International, our parent company, recently acquired a new subsidiary, WideBlue. WideBlue is a Glasgow, Scotland-based engineering firm that specializes in digital optics and imaging technology.
WideBlue was initially formed as a division of Polaroid’s European Design Center 20 years ago, and has helped develop the popular new Polaroid cameras that feature built-in digital printing capabilities. Their expertise is a welcome addition to the family of Pivot companies.
Mark Dohnalek, Pivot International CEO, explained that the 15 new WideBlue engineers will bring the company’s overall engineering capability up to 50 engineers, and the global employee total to about 400. During a recent interview, Dohnalek shared with the Kansas City Business Journal that:
“Optics are a pretty specific technical area, and not that many companies can do that … It’s very much a niche in the engineering world. It’s why a lot of times those camera systems are expensive because it’s pretty technical stuff. It also ties into Internet of Things products, which use a lot of optics. Optical engineers can help Pivot develop products for areas including identification management and border security, outdoor engagement, police surveillance, body cameras, security systems and medical products.“
WideBlue is Pivot’s fifth acquisition in the past 24 months. In January 2016, the company bought Independence-based Mid-Continent Custom Electronics, followed by the acquisition of Shawnee-based DigitTron Technologies in March 2016, Lenexa-based Avatar Engineering in May 2017 and Omaha-based Electronic Design and Manufacturing last Fall. Pivot’s acquisition strategy has focused on building up Pivot’s manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., where the company now has approximately 90,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities. In addition, it has about 75,000 square feet of manufacturing in Asia and the Philippines.
Mark Dohnalek has shifted Pivot International’s attention to Europe. “We really need a larger footprint in Europe,” he explained. “We previously had about 25 people in Europe – just a few key people. Adding WideBlue gives us 15 more engineers, building a nice foothold for further growth in Europe. We’ll probably do another acquisition in Europe down the road. I see Europe being a strong employment center for us to serve that market.”
Pivot International has been growing rapidly, with revenue up 82.4% in just the last three years, ranking Pivot as the area’s 11th fastest-growing company, according to the Kansas City Business Journal List. The company subsidiaries include:
- DigitTron Technologies
- Avatar Engineering
- MCC Electronics
- Electronic Design and Manufacturing (EDM)
- Pivot – UK
- Pivot-Hawk in Manila
- Pivot – Shenzhen
- Pivot – Hong Kong
- Pivot – Taiwan