Hydrobuilder Holdings LLC (“Hydrobuilder Holdings”) today announced its formation through the acquisitions of Hydrobuilder.com, a leading online retailer of hydroponics and horticultural supplies, and GreenCoast Hydroponics, the second largest hydroponics retailer in the United States, to create a leading omni-channel retailer of specialty agriculture and hydroponics equipment and supplies. Hydrobuilder Holdings secured over $70 million in financing from a broad group of investors, led by Broadband Capital Investments. As part of the transaction, the sellers of both Hydrobuilder.com and GreenCoast Hydroponics retained a meaningful equity stake in Hydrobuilder Holdings.
Hydrobuilder Holdings will be led by Markus Hockenson, Chief Executive Officer, and Avi Levine, Chief Financial Officer, both of whom bring extensive digital and retail experience, and a proven track record of driving revenue, earnings growth and value creation at private-equity owned companies. Hydrobuilder.com and GreenCoast will continue to be operated by their existing management teams under the newly-formed Hydrobuilder Holdings platform and substantially all team members from Hydrobuilder.com and GreenCoast will remain with Hydrobuilder Holdings.
Mr. Hockenson previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of International Car Wash Group and Vision Group Holdings, and has served in leadership positions at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Starbucks, Advance Auto Parts, and TBC Corporation (Tire Kingdom). Mr. Levine previously served as Chief Financial Officer of International Car Wash Group, and has additional experience at Deloitte Consulting, Versa Capital Management, Flashpoint College and Driven Brands.
“We are excited to bring together two proven leaders in hydroponics e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail as the initial partnerships within Hydrobuilder Holdings, which we believe is poised to be a leading omni-channel seller of specialty agriculture and hydroponics equipment and supplies,” said Hockenson.
Hydrobuilder Holdings is uniquely positioned to provide commercial growers and home gardeners with the highest level of service, product selection, education and value.
Markus Hockenson, Chief Executive Officer
With strong investor support and significant follow-on interest from our investors, we have substantial growth capital to execute our organic and M&A growth strategies, and see significant opportunities to expand these businesses in the rapidly growing hydroponics, specialty gardening and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) markets.
Hydrobuilder.com Founder and President, Justin Marshall, commented, “Partnering with GreenCoast and joining Hydrobuilder Holdings is a dream come true. I am incredibly grateful and excited to be working alongside these experts and pioneers within the hydroponics industry as well as professionals from many outside business ventures. The combined knowledge and experience will allow us to take the Hydrobuilder.com platform and apply it to some of the most successful brick-and-mortar stores in our space by utilizing our custom IT infrastructure, which enhances automation while also providing an omni-channel approach to sales for our customers. With this combination we’ll be able to scale and automate at a far greater speed than what was possible on our own. The amount of industry and historical knowledge will allow us to further position ourselves as a leading online retailer of hydroponics equipment and supplies.”
Jordan Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of GreenCoast Hydroponics, said, “We couldn’t be more excited to see our business develop and grow into an omni-channel national model. This will better integrate and support our customers’ needs across all of our three pillars: e-commerce, retail and commercial. Along with better serving our customers, we feel great about how this partnership will support our employees and the culture that we have worked 20+ years to build.”
Michael Rapp, Managing Partner of Broadband Capital Investments, added, “We are excited to be investing in the formation of Hydrobuilder Holdings. Justin, Jordan and their respective teams have built best-in-class companies and have deep domain knowledge. Markus and Avi are world class executives who understand how to drive efficiencies and scale enterprises, both organically and through acquisitions. We are serving a nascent but fast growing end market and our customers are in need of a local supply chain partner who can offer a suite of products and services to solve problems and add value. We are excited by this opportunity and we look forward to building a leading company in this space.”
Founded in 2011, Hydrobuilder.com is based in Northern California and has rapidly grown to become a leading online retailer of hydroponics and horticultural supplies. The management team previously helped Build.com grow to over $1 billion in sales, and has built Hydrobuilder.com into a complete online hydroponic gardening center that is known for having the top product lines, a fast, user-friendly website and knowledgeable employees.
About GreenCoast Hydroponics
Founded in 1999, GreenCoast is a Southern California-based specialty agriculture / hydroponics products retailer and the largest independent retailer of its kind in the United States. GreenCoast operates 12 stores (10 in California, 1 in Las Vegas and 1 in Portland, OR), that provide equipment, plant consumable products and design services to growers ranging from the hobbyist to the largest licensed commercial operators. Senior management is known throughout the industry as experts in design of large-scale industrial growing facilities.
About Broadband Capital Investments
Broadband Capital Investment (BCI) is a boutique merchant bank which invests in high growth industries. BCI (and/or its affiliates) was the founding investor in Vroom.com (Nasdaq: VRM), a leading used car e-commerce company, co-led the management buyout of Hydrofarm Holdings (Nasdaq: HYFM), a leading hydroponics manufacturer and distributor, prior to its initial public offering, and invested in Montrose Environmental (NYSE: MEG), an environmental services provider offering measurement & analytical services as well as environmental resiliency & sustainability solutions.