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Buzz Franchise Brands Signs FranBridge Capital as First-Ever Multi-Brand Franchisee for 10 Units in Atlanta

FranBridge Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm specializing in home service and retail franchise systems adds Buzz Franchise Brands-owned Home Clean Heroes and Pool Scouts to its arsenal with a 10-territory signing.

Private equity firm FranBridge Capital, the owners of several Atlanta-area businesses in the home services sector, recently expanded their portfolio by signing a 10-unit deal with Buzz Franchise Brands, including a six-unit deal with Home Clean Heroes and four Pool Scouts territories to serve the Greater Atlanta area, with plans to launch Pool Scouts in August and Home Clean Heroes in October.

This is the first multi-brand franchisee for Buzz Franchise Brands and Home Clean Heroes’ second-ever franchisee. Since the start of the year, Pool Scouts has signed six deals for 17 territories (including the recent Atlanta signings) and opened four locations. 

Led by CEO Jon Ostenson, Chairman Allan Young and Operating Partner Christian Pillat, FranBridge Capital brings years of entrepreneurship, corporate leadership and franchise experience to the venture.

The three entrepreneurs all met each other through mutual acquaintances. “I’ve always had the idea to create a collection of home service companies that utilize data, similar customer demographics and technology to our advantage,” said Pillat. “At the same time, Jon and Allan were approaching the same problem from another angle, so we thought it would be best to join forces.”

Based on their backgrounds, Pillat, Young and Ostenson knew there was a strong opportunity to be a strategic private equity firm in the franchise industry. The trio debates and bounces ideas off each other in order to create a three-way partnership that leverages their experience as franchisors, franchisees, vendors and consultants. 

“We provide a different avenue of capital and equity for new franchisees,” said Ostenson. “Our model allows investors to participate in franchising without having to operate a store or put all of their eggs in one basket.”

Now, the firm is excited to join Buzz Franchise Brands as the first multi brand franchisee.

“When we met with the Buzz Franchise Brands team, their leadership was very impressive,” said Pillat. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for their Chairman and CEO Kevin Wilson and his previous experience in the franchising space. The leadership of a franchise brand is a team you’ll spend the next 10 years working with, and you have to be comfortable with their expertise and decision-making.”

According to Wilson, the excitement is mutual. “FranBridge Capital is the perfect partner for Buzz Franchise Brands, and as the first multi-brand franchisee, they will usher in a new era of growth for the company,” he said.

Home Clean Heroes President Joe Delatte notes that this is a huge step for the brand. “FranBridge Capital observed that people are spending less on vacations and travel and spending more money and time in their homes,” said Delatte. “Because FranBridge has some experience in home services already, they will be able to quickly adopt and take advantage of our highly efficient systems, operating tools and marketing to make Home Clean Heroes a household name in Atlanta. We look forward to working with their local team to support continued growth in the years ahead.”

Pool Scouts President Michael Wagner also agrees that this is a great opportunity. “We are very excited to welcome FranBridge Capital to the Pool Scouts team and we look forward to working with their team to bring our expertise and high-quality pool maintenance to homes in the Atlanta area.”

FranBridge Capital specifically recognized Atlanta as a strong growth market for a couple of reasons. First, the city is growing rapidly and attracting top talent and big name brands. Georgia is currently the fifth fastest-growing franchise state. With the home services market being so fragmented, there is a massive opportunity within Atlanta to become the premier home service provider by leveraging technology to provide safe, punctual and professional experiences. For Pool Scouts specifically, Atlanta is currently the number-one growing pool market in the nation according to the number of pool permits being issued. From a Home Clean Heroes perspective, it’s a market with a high density of target customers in which many are in need of their high demand home cleaning services.

Pillat also notes that one of the most encouraging factors that led to this partnership was Buzz Franchise Brands’ transparency on the drivers of success from a financial point of view. “The transparency of the Item 19 from Buzz Franchise Brands made us very comfortable and allowed us to forecast various revenue scenarios for our investors,” he said. “They have a better grasp on their KPIs than most other franchise brands do. They know what the margins need to look like. Another highlight is that they are forward-thinking when it comes to technology. We look forward to executing their systems and maintaining the highest level of service in a market that is fragmented and historically unreliable.”

According to Pillat, the goal is to become a recognized brand name in the Atlanta area for house cleaning and pool services. “As a private equity firm, we also want to return strong funds to our investors,” he said. “One of the things that is near and dear to our heart at FranBridge Capital is the ability to promote young and diverse leaders. We believe that giving young people the guardrails they need to be successful business owners, leaders and employees is incredibly important. We will have brand managers for Home Clean Heroes and Pool Scouts that will allow them to serve as the CEO of their small business.” 

Ostenson also noted how important this aspect was in their decision to franchise with Buzz Franchise Brands during a time of record unemployment. “The biggest thing in today’s environment is that we are creating jobs and economic opportunities to get people back on their feet,” said Ostenson. “Our goal is to provide people with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to thrive within our growing organization.”

In the Greater Atlanta area, there are approximately eight to 10 territories still available with Home Clean Heroes. Nationwide, the brand would like to sign nine more franchisees before the end of the year. Moving forward, Home Clean Heroes’ goal is to identify multi-territory operations that can become sizable businesses in cities like Chicago; Pittsburgh; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Pool Scouts has two remaining territories in Atlanta across Columbus and Macon and hopes to sign 10 deals for a total of 26 territories nationwide by the end of 2020. They are targeting Dallas; Houston; Nashville; San Antonio; Greensboro, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Las Vegas; New Orleans; Baltimore; and Columbus, Ohio for growth.

“There are a lot of brands that have processes, but there are few brands that have the systems and support to ensure that the processes are followed every time,” said Pillat. “We believe Buzz Franchise Brands has the right systems in place to operate successful businesses in each category they operate in, and that is why we are excited to partner with them and bring Home Clean Heroes and Pool Scouts to Atlanta.”

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.