SANTA BARBARA, CA -- VTAIL, a new automated retailing concern, has acquired Big Bear Import Brokers, better known as Glow Machine.
A leading manufacturer and distributor of machines that dispense premium items, Big Bear is unique in the bulk vending space in that its equipment employs banknote validation and therefore requires electricity. Vender models include the Original Glow Machine, Web Glow Machine, Lumini, Eye Prize and Eye Prize X.
As part of the transaction, Big Bear founder and chief executive Aaron Pelto has become a "substantial" shareholder in VTAIL and has joined the company as chief operating officer. Financial terms of the transaction, which includes all of Big Bear's operating assets, were not disclosed.
"Everything the company used to do is now absorbed into the VTAIL umbrella," said VTAIL chief executive Adrian Sedlin. "We're going to continue to support Big Bear's existing product lines, and operate, service and resupply all its machines."
A newcomer to bulk vending, Sedlin managed the turnaround of CrimeReports.com, an Austin Ventures portfolio company. Boasting a Harvard MBA, Sedlin also led the about-face of Bargain Network as its COO, increasing revenues six fold.
Sedlin said that VTAIL was formed to facilitate the acquisition of Big Bear, and to implement a strategy that will drive the development and distribution of new vending machine concepts. "We have a vision of using automated retailing to sell toys at family establishments as a high-affinity concept," he explained. "Our thought process is to start with the real estate. We begin by asking: What type of real estate assets are out there, and what kinds of machine can you develop for those assets?"
The VTAIL chief executive said his company is planning to release new machine concepts based on existing equipment designs. He has set a goal of tripling the size of Big Bear within in a year. "We are going to bring premium-prize vending into the fold."
VTAIL is currently based in the same Santa Barbara, CA, facility used by Big Bear. Machine manufacturing will remain in the U.S. Sedlin can be reached at (805) 233-7035.
PHOTO: Aaron Pelto (l.) and Aridan Sedlin.