Apollo’s impact platform buys into driver alcohol monitoring program Smart Start


Global buyout major Apollo has agreed to acquire the parent company of driver alcohol monitoring program provider 1A Smart Start.

Founded in 1992, Smart Start uses ignition interlock devices to prevent vehicles from starting if the driver’s alcohol concentration reaches a predetermined level. The company said the company has prevented over 10 million engine starts where alcohol was detected.

Apollo said it would seek to further the impact of the business by enhancing its products for both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle alcohol monitoring.

Joanna Reiss, partner and co-lead of Apollo Impact, said, “Smart Start is at the forefront of improving safety on the road through its innovative alcohol monitoring program.

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.”

Smart Start is the second acquisition for  Apollo’s Impact platform, it invested in European recycled cartonboard maker RDM Group in July.

Apollo named former Amazon senior exec Carletta Ooton as head of ESG for private equity yesterday. 

The firm raised about $1.75bn last year for the final close of its dislocated credit fund after just a few weeks in the market.

It is currently managing $481bn of assets as of September.

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