Vivint

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Vivint, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Security Systems, Fire detection, Home Automation
Founded 1997
Founders Todd Pedersen, Keith Nelleson
Headquarters Provo, Utah
Key people Todd Pedersen, CEO, Alex Dunn, president
Employees 7000
Website www.vivint.com

Vivint, Inc. (formerly known as APX Alarm Security Solutions Inc.) is a private home security, home automation and energy management services provider in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.[1][2][3] Keith Nelleson and Todd Pedersen co-founded the company in 1999.[4][5] Pedersen is Vivint's CEO.[4][6]

In 2012, The Blackstone Group acquired Vivint.[6][7] As of June 2014, Vivint had approximately 7,000 employees serving 800,000 customers.[8]

History[edit]

In 1999, Keith Nelleson and Todd Pedersen co-founded APX Alarm Security Solutions in Provo, Utah.[5][9] At the time, the company sold and installed security systems.[9] Vivint began retaining customers in 2006 after it became a home monitoring provider.[9] The company expanded its service to Canada that year after signing a $75 million credit facility agreement with Goldman Sachs.[10] It received the J.D. Power and Associates "Outstanding Customer Service Experience" certification 2008 and 2009. Goldman Sachs and APX Alarm completed another credit facility agreement worth $440 million in 2009.[10] That November, the company acquired a central alarm monitoring station from Criticom Monitoring Services, a subsidiary of Protection One, in St. Paul, Minnesota.[10] APX Alarm opened a new corporate headquarters in Provo, Utah a month later.[11]

APX Alarm Security Solutions rebranded the company to Vivint in February 2011.[9][12] The company completed a $565 million senior debt financing led by Goldman Sachs that month.[13] Vivint also received funding from Peterson Partners and Jupiter Partners.[13] The company launched Vivint Solar, a solar energy company, in 2011.[14] The company partnered with Alarm.com early that year to deploy severe weather alerts to their customer base.[15] Vivint was acquired by The Blackstone Group in September 2012.[16][17][18][19] In December, PC World ranked Vivint 53rd in the "100 Best Products of 2012" list.[20] It ranked first among the home products on the list.[20] That year, the company received a Silver Stevie Award for "Customer Service Department of the Year" in the other industries category.[20]

The Central Station Alarm Association awarded Vivint "Central Station of the Year" that year.[21] In 2013, Forbes ranked the company 46th in its annual ranking of "America's Most Promising Companies."[22] Vivint acquired Smartrove, a wireless mesh networking technology provider, and began wireless broadband that August.[23] In October, Inc. named the company the second most job creating private company in the United States.[24] In 2013, the company created the Vivint Fellows Program, a summer internship program at the Vivint Innovation Center.[25][26][27][28]

Vivint launched Vivint Sky, a cloud-based smart home solution, in June 2014.[29] The system provides a centralized control, remote smartphone applications and learns algorithms that automatically pick up on a user's patterns.[30] In 2014, the Vivint SkyControl panel received a CE Pro BEST Award for "new custom electronic products introduced in 2014."[31] Vivint acquired the cloud storage startup Space Monkey, a company founded by Clint Gordon-Carroll and Alen Peacock that year.[32]

Vivint Solar[edit]

In 2011, Vivint Inc. launched a standalone company, Vivint Solar,[6] as a solar electricity provider that designs, installs, and maintains residential photovoltaic systems. Vivint Solar in 2013 is operating in 6 states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, and California.[33][34] The company offers solar panels via a power purchase agreement (PPA).[35] Vivint Solar owns, installs, and maintains solar panels on customers’ homes in exchange for customers agreeing to purchase the solar energy their panels produce. Customers do not pay for installation, but pay for energy that the panel's produce, for the life of the contracts.[36] Vivint Solar is similar to other alternative solar companies like SolarCity, SunRun, and Sungevity. Its innovation in the field is the use of microinverters for each separate solar panel, allowing maximum production when some of the panels are in the shade.[37][38]

Its President and CEO is Greg Butterfield and its chief technology officer is Dan Rapp. In October 2014, Vivint Solar made its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VSLR.[39]

Vivint Innovation Center[edit]

Vivint announced a new innovation center February 2013.[40][41] The Vivint Innovation Center is the research and development arm of Vivint, Inc. It is located in Lehi, Utah in the business park adjacent to Thanksgiving Point and officially launched in October 2014.[42][43] It is staffed by approximately 320 hardware, software and radio engineers, industrial designers and user experience professionals. The Center is led by Matt Eyring, chief strategy and innovation officer; J.T. Hwang, chief technology officer; Jim Nye, vice president of product development;[44][45] and Jeremy Warren, vice president of innovation.[46] Warren joined Vivint from 2GIG Technologies,[47] where he served as chief technology officer. Eyring joined Vivint from Innosight, the innovation consulting firm co-founded by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, where Eyring served as a managing partner"[48]

Philanthropy[edit]

Vivint Gives Back is a philanthropic program aimed to help families in need.[49] In 2008, ninety Vivint employees went to Galveston, Texas to aid Hurricane Ike victims.[50] Vivint Gives Back donated over $1.25 Million and 7,500 person-hours of service in 2011 and was named the Corporate Volunteer Program of the Year the following year.[51] The organization had nearly 3,000 Vivint employees volunteer 23,000 person-hours to help needy families and distributed its $1.5 million charity fund to 20 different international relief organizations that year.[52] In February 2014, the company donated $2 million to the Utah Valley University to establish a professional sales program.[53] The program has donated $6 million and over 90,000 service hours since its creation in 2008.[54]

Legal issues[edit]

In 2008-2009, the company paid to the state of Arkansas $65,850 to settle allegations of improper licensing of employees, including alarm installers.[55] The company paid an additional $125,000 to the state over alleged violations of state law in 2010.[56]

In April 2010, Vivint settled with the state of Oregon for $60,000 over alleged aggressive sales tactics used by its agents. The company also agreed to change some of its sales tactics.[57]

In April 2011, Vivint settled with Contra Costa County, California for $425,000. Under the settlement, Vivint admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to conform its contracts to California law and refrain from certain sales practices.[58]

Vivint settled with the Wisconsin Attorney General's office in September 2012 after sales agents were allegedly using misleading and deceptive tactics. Under the settlement, Vivint agreed to refund up to $148,000 to consumers who were misled about their ability to cancel and about false alarm charges. Vivint also canceled nearly $450,000 in consumer debt owed to the company.[59]

In March 2013, the company settled with the Kansas Attorney General, which accused sales agents of using deceptive practices while going door-to-door offering to install new home security systems or replace existing systems. The agents also allegedly failed to advise the consumers of their rights under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and did not disclose all costs associated with switching alarm system providers. Under the settlement, Vivint paid $55,000 to the state.[60]

The Ohio Attorney General settled with Vivint in April 2013 after consumers filed complaints alleging deceptive sales practices and the company's refusal to honor notices of cancellation. Under the settlement agreement, Vivint agreed to comply with Ohio consumer laws and paid approximately $50,000 in fines.[61]

In June 2013, Vivint agreed to an assurance of voluntary compliance in Nebraska. Under the agreement, the company promised not to make any misrepresentations while engaging in sales. The company also donated $50,000 to two charities in Lancaster County, Nebraska.[62]

As of 2014, two federal class action lawsuits (Johansen v. Vivint, Inc. and Benzion v. Vivint, Inc.) have been filed against Vivint for alleged violations of the TCPA.[63][64] In June 2014, Vivint agreed to a proposed settlement in Benzion which included a $6 million settlement fund.[65]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]