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Provo-based APX Alarm Security Solutions Inc. has changed its name and expanded its business to begin offering home-automation equipment and services.
Rapidly growing APX Alarm is now known as Vivint, a combination of vive, which means live, and intelligent.
"Vivint's mission is clear: to help families 'live intelligently,'" the company said in announcing the name change this week.
"Our rebranding is the final step to convey to the external world that we are providing simple, affordable home-automation [products] to our customers," said Alex Dunn, COO.
Vivint's revenues are $20 million a month, according to the company that was founded as home-security provider APX in 1998 by Todd Pedersen, its CEO. It hires several thousand temporary workers in the summer, many of them college students, who go door-to-door selling equipment and services.
The company's business model is based on customers receiving the installed equipment up front, and then paying for it through a monthly charge that includes monitoring services. Over time, the value of the contract rises as the cost of the equipment is paid off, Dunn said.
The company is 50 percent owned by Vivint management, with the other held by equity partners Goldman Sachs, Peterson Partners and Jupiter Partners.
Vivint also said this week it completed a $565 million senior debt financing with a set of lenders led by Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, representing a $125 million increase in available money that will help it finance its new venture.
Vivint plans to add 500 to 600 employees as part of its expansion.
Home automation is a growing business in the United States, providing home owners the ability to remotely monitor and control systems. Another Utah company, Control4, also offers home-automation systems through independent dealers.
Vivint's leap into home automation was made possible by the control panel it uses on its home security systems. The new services are run off of the same panel, and the company says that helps keep costs down.
"Traditionally, home automation has been expensive and complicated," said Dunn."Now that we have a price point where we have it and the ability to do professional installation and provide ongoing support, we feel like we are opening up home functionality to the residential consumer."
The home-automation systems include such features as video cameras, automatic door locks and controls over lighting and small appliances.
Vivint already has 170,000 control panels installed in homes around the country among its 500,000 customers, the company said. It also has issues with some of its customers, as evidenced by its C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau in Salt Lake City for 1,466 complaints in the past 36 months and for regulatory actions in other states.
"With more than half a million customers, our ratio of BBB complaints is extremely low in comparison to our customer base," said Megan Herrick, Vivint public relations director. She added that almost all complaints have been resolved and that many of the regulatory issues were the result of the company's rapid growth.
"We take every complaint seriously and work diligently to rectify any problems or incidents," Herrick said.
Reporter Paul Beebe contributed to this story.
Vivint of Provo
Founded in 1998
Reports more than $20 million in monthly revenue
940 percent increase in monthly revenue over the past five years
25 offices in North America
1,600 full-time employees (1,060 in Utah); 5,000 temporary summer hires
What Vivint services cost
Security package • $99 activation fee / $49.99 per month
Energy management • $99 activation fee / $56.98 per month
Home automation • $199 activation fee / $66.97 per month