Press Releases

Apollo Impact to Acquire Smart Start, Leading Provider of Ignition Interlock Devices

Positions Company to Expand Alcohol Monitoring Market Leadership and Maximize Community Safety Impact

NEW YORK, Nov. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apollo (NYSE: APO) today announced that funds managed by its affiliates (the “Apollo Funds”) have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Global IID Holdco, LLC and its subsidiaries, including 1A Smart Start, LLC (“Smart Start” or the “Company”), the leading global provider of alcohol monitoring solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1992, Smart Start is the leading global provider of alcohol monitoring programs utilizing ignition interlock devices to prevent vehicles from starting if the driver’s alcohol concentration reaches a predetermined level. The programs have been proven to save lives by reducing alcohol-related traffic crashes; since inception, the Company has prevented over 10 million engine starts where alcohol was detected. With Apollo’s capital and resources, Smart Start will seek to deepen its market-leading position across both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle alcohol monitoring solutions, further enhancing the impact of the business.

“Smart Start is at the forefront of improving safety on the road through its innovative alcohol monitoring program,” said Joanna Reiss, Partner and Co-Lead of Apollo Impact. “The Company’s global footprint and long-term growth prospects in vehicle-based and portable alcohol monitoring align with our strategy to drive measurable impact and financial returns at scale. We look forward to working closely with Matt Strausz and the Smart Start team to increase the impact of Smart Start’s life-saving solutions.”

“We are thrilled to partner with such an experienced and sophisticated investor in Apollo to address the massive effect that alcohol misuse and alcohol-related traffic crashes have on the health, safety and productivity of communities worldwide,” Matt Strausz, CEO of Smart Start, said. “Having spent nearly two decades developing our programs and building relationships within the traffic advocacy network, we believe we are well positioned to capitalize on Apollo’s expertise and resources to advance our social mission and further scale our platform to save more lives and keep more communities safe.”

This acquisition is the second for Apollo’s Impact platform. In July 2021, the Firm announced an investment in RDM Group, a leading producer of recycled cartonboard in Europe. Co-led by Ms. Reiss and Senior Partner Marc Becker, as well as Impact Chairperson Lisa Hall, the Apollo Impact platform leverages the expertise of the Firm’s leading private equity franchise and looks to differentiate itself by seeking impact at scale via opportunities in later-stage companies across five key areas: economic opportunity; education; health, safety and wellness; industry 4.0; and climate & sustainability. The Impact platform builds upon Apollo’s long-standing track record of screening and engagement on ESG issues that spans more than a decade.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by year-end of 2021.

William Blair & Company, LLC acted as financial advisor and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal counsel to the Apollo Funds. Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to Smart Start.

About Apollo

Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager. We seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three business strategies: yield, hybrid and equity. Through our investment activity across our fully integrated platform, we serve the retirement income and financial return needs of our clients, and we offer innovative capital solutions to businesses. Our patient, creative, knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of September 30, 2021, Apollo had approximately $481 billion assets under management. To learn more, please visit

About Smart Start

Based in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, Texas, 1A Smart Start LLC is the acknowledged leader in alcohol monitoring nationally and worldwide with our advanced alcohol breath-testing technology. Smart Start’s Ignition Interlock is a convenient, discreet solution for impaired driving offenders, while SmartMobile™, BreathCheck™ and ORBIS™ portable alcohol monitoring devices provide the greatest benefit at the lowest cost to users and monitoring authorities. Our SmartWeb™ online platform offers quick reporting and analysis for easy caseload management. Smart Start is Setting the Standard in Alcohol Monitoring Technology® with thousands of service locations across the U.S. and internationally, and a 24/7/365 multilingual Customer Care Center. For more information, visit

Contact Information

For Investors
Noah Gunn, Global Head of Investor Relations
(212) 822-0540

For Media
Joanna Rose, Global Head of Corporate Communications
(212) 822-0491

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Source: Apollo Global Management, Inc.