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Fortress Security secures $2m in funding

Fortress Security secures $2m in funding Capital will help drive continued growth of business and RMR, CEO says

DALLAS—Fortress Security, a full-service residential and commercial security system company based here, announced that it has secured funding worth up to $2 million, which will be used to expand the company, according to CEO Jerrod Smith.

“The primary focus with the funding is almost exclusively to drive RMR growth,” Smith told Security Systems News. “That is our business model, so we will be bringing on new accounts—both commercial and residential—to increase our recurring revenue overall.”

Smith said that the funding, a vast majority of which comes from Alarm Financial Services, or AFS, based in Corte Madera, Calif., will allow the company to better serve its customers in areas across Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, including meeting the high demand Fortress is experiencing of acquiring new customers throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

“We've always been a growing company, but in the past few years we've seen growth for home security systems and commercial security systems increase exponentially,” Smith said. “The infusion of funding means that we will continue to deliver outstanding customer service to our current clients as well as offer the most advanced security products and services to new customers much more rapidly.”

In terms of overall growth, the company is coming off its “best year ever in over 15 years in business,” according to Smith, including a more than 40 percent year-over-year growth rate.

“We are on pace this year to be over 50 percent in terms of year-over-year growth,” Smith noted. “In terms of revenue growth, our top line revenue growth is on track to be over 50 percent and our RMR growth is on track to be over 40 percent.”

The company, he said, has experienced growth in every area on both the residential and commercial side. The company's accounts are currently 50 percent commercial and 50 percent residential, with 70 percent of the total revenue coming from the commercial side.

“On the commercial side we see a lot of growth in adding new systems for existing customers,” Smith explained. “We have a lot of existing customers who may have put a system in with us and then call us back 3- or 6 months later for cameras and access control or they ask if we do commercial fire, so that space is really growing.”

Smith pointed out, “Whereas years ago we were just a security alarm system installation company, now we can do cameras and access control and fire, and we find that a lot of commercial companies/clients, they want one provider that will do all of those systems, so being able to offer all of those systems and services on the commercial side is a huge advantage.”

On the residential side, Fortress has had success recently working with homebuilders. “We have brought on one builder that has added some RMR growth, and we also have added quite a few salespeople as well that are in the field bringing on business,” Smith said.

Although Smith noted that demand for smart home products “has kind of flat-lined a bit for us,” he said that high-end home automation is still a strong area of growth. “We are also a Savant dealer, and we do put Savant's home automation system, which is higher end, in for several of our builders and we are seeing a lot of growth with that.”

Beyond home automation, he said the company is experiencing great demand for security alarm systems and cameras.

“We have recently begun installing our security and cameras systems integrated with I-View Now, and people are loving that,” he said. “When we are putting in cameras, even on the commercial side, it is usually an I-View Now connected system, and that is where we are seeing a lot of revenue growth on RMR from cameras—from the I-View Now service.”

Founded in 2001, Fortress Security recently earned the Honeywell Dealer Council of Excellence and ITI/GE Americas Dealer Excellence Award.


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