Black Widow Imaging, a provider of high-quality auto imaging, was acquired in October 2022 by a St. Louis, Missouri-based angel investor group with an extensive background in the automotive industry, the companies announced March 28.
The new owners are refocusing the company to evolve as the industry standard for vehicle imaging. Several new and returning leaders have also been named. The acquisition and reorganization follow a Chapter 11 bankrupty filing in April 2022.
As part of the restructuring, Darren Kemper, formerly the COO of Black Widow, is now president. Kemper brings over 20 years of experience working at both large and small organizations leading engineering, software development, operational and organization projects, and programs.
In December 2022, Black Widow, headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, opened a 14,000 square foot research and development facility in Indianapolis. The facility will serve as an innovation lab for the growing technology team as they focus on advanced imaging capabilities for current and future partners. In August of that year, it partnered with one of Florida's largest auctions. Five months before then, the company joined with an artificial intelligence (AI) developer to transform automotive sales with deeper and more transparent insights into a vehicle’s condition.
Tom Freiert, co-founder of Black Widow Imaging, returned to the leadership team as senior vice president of sales. Freiert was key to the company’s growth in leading all sales and operations activities. His background and passion for serving clients will be key in building relationships with existing and future partners.
Also rounding out the executive team is Rez Mahboubi as CFO and Chris Dillow as the chief technology officer. Mahboubi is a corporate development, M&A, private equity, and structured finance executive with more than 25 years of global experience applying his expertise to add value to companies across a wide spectrum of industries and development stages.
Chris Dillow has been with Black Widow Imaging for more than two years and ensures its information systems continue to scale with the company’s rapid growth. He has over 30 years of experience in designing hardware and software as well as holding leadership roles such as CTO for ADESA where he was instrumental in bringing ADESA’s inventory to the cloud. With the renewed company focus and the new R&D facility as his office, Dillow can advance the Black Widow system in ways never done before. A new system update is pending.
"Black Widow Imaging has certainly seen a lot of changes in the last few months,” Kemper said in a news release. “Clients never missed a beat in capturing their inventory during the change-over and continue to use the automated system that delivers consistent, high-quality images in seconds.”
Black Widow will soon be advancing its automated drive-thru imaging system with new technology releases.