Vivint gets $100m investment from Peter Thiel, Mitt Romney’s investment firm

Pedersen: Investment is ‘huge validation of what we have built’
 - 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Smart Home on April 27 announced a $100 million strategic investment from Peter Thiel and Solamere Capital, an investment firm founded by Tagg Romney, Eric Scheuermann and Spencer Zwick, and chaired by Mitt Romney.

In an internal memo shared with Security Systems News, Todd Pedersen, founder and CEO of Vivint Smart Home, told employees that this strategic investment will help accelerate growth and innovation. “As a venture capitalist and an entrepreneur, Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal, the first outside investor in Facebook, and one of the largest shareholders of Airbnb,” Pedersen said in the memo, noting that backing from top investors such as this is “a huge validation of what we have built and where we are headed.”

According to CMO Jeff Lyman, the investment will help Vivint continue its successful strategy in the growing smart home market.

“We have a fair amount of inbound interest from investors all of the time, but when you have an opportunity to bring someone like Peter Thiel and Solamere Capital onboard, we were particularly excited about moving forward with them as we continue to build out a leadership position in the smart home marketplace,” Lyman told SSN.

Lyman said the funding will go toward Vivint’s continued growth, as 2015 year-end financials showed record total revenue for the year at $653.7 million, a 16 percent increase over 2014. Vivint also added 33,162 new smart home subscribers in Q4, a 53.9 percent increase over the same period in 2014.

“On the growth side, we are underwriting a pretty significant upfront investment in delivering a comprehensive smart home on day one for the customer,” said Lyman. “And that includes things like our Vivint Smart Control panel, and other world-class products like our doorbell camera, and great partner products like the Nest learning thermostat or the Amazon Echo or Kwikset locks.”

Lyman pointed out that as the company continues to build out a platform with more than one million customers, “it is something where we are handling a lot of the friction points around the adoption of the smart home,” he said. “We are handling the upfront subsidy, the professional installation and offering that as a service. So a good portion of the funding is going toward helping to grow the smart home market and to fund all of the innovation that we are doing in terms of new products in that area.”

Funding that product and service innovation “is going to be key moving forward,” he said. “This investment is a validation to our model and approach to delivering the smart home.”