Stratacache Buys Vertigo’s Drive-Thru Display Business From Civiq

July 29, 2016 by Dave Haynes


Dayton, Ohio-based STRATACACHE has acquired the Outdoor Digital Menuboard product line and intellectual property from Civiq Smartscapes, which picked that up when it bought Vertigo Digital Displays a few weeks ago.

Civiq is in the smart cities-interactive public screens space, and I wouldn’t think there’d be much of a chance it would one day branch into outdoor displays built for the drive-thru lanes of fast food companies So it would make sense to recover some of its acquisition cost by selling that part of the business off.

stratlogoIt makes a lot of sense for STRATACACHE because that company already services and/or actively chases some of the larger QSR accounts out there, and also does banks, which have drive-thru lanes in suburban areas.

“Our strategy is to identify opportunities in our core markets that will help our customers drive greater profitability – Outdoor Digital Menu boards are a great opportunity for our customers to better serve their customers,” say Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE. “With the addition of the Vertigo QSR Outdoor Digital Menu Board product line, we are acquiring many years of research and development and the Intellectual Property licenses needed to ensure our customers’ success in this market segment. The acquisition further increases our competitive advantage as we broaden our customer base among QSR and Fast Casual restaurants.”

I chatted with Riegel while he was crawling through traffic this morning, heading over to the Vertigo/Civiq building in Toronto. There’s lots he can’t say just yet, but he did say he was interested in the book of business, a healthy 3-5 year outlook for sales in drive-thru, the intellectual property, the vertical experience of people, and the processes and documentation involved.

Putting screens in direct sunlight and all the elements is lot more involved than just getting bright screens and making sure the enclosure is weather and dust-sealed. There is a lot of engineering involved. If your company already sells menu solutions for inside big clients like McDonald’s, it’s usually better to saw we can directly do your outdoor displays as well, and not just point to a partner or third-party vendor.


Toronto-based Vertigo has for many, many years been building outdoor displays aimed at the advertising market and more recently QSR. I spoke with co-founder Ralph Idems a few months back, and he was telling me how business in that area was doubling for Vertigo every quarter.

The deal just happened, so  how things play out in terms of staffing and location still need to get worked out. Idems is Managing Director of Sales, DOOH and Transit for Civiq, and I think his longtime business partner Chris Bolton is also a Civiq employee.

Idems and Bolton have had quite a ride with this company the last few years. Lots of ups and downs, and twists and turns, and different masters. Something tells me this story isn’t quite finished.



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