Vortex secures $3m in funding

Company reaches $100k in RMR, looks to sustain strong growth
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

JUPITER, Fla.—Vortex Security, a home and business security and automation company based here, recently secured $3 million in credit from Cassell Global Investments, funding that will help the company sustain its strong growth organically as well as possibly expand through acquisition.

Vortex president Kevin Johnson launched the company in January of 2014 with Chris Tango, an industry veteran who has worked at Brinks, Devcon Security and ADT, before joining Vortex as executive VP. Johnson noted the relationship with Cassell Global Investments started back in 2014.

“When Chris and I first started the company we were on a shoe-string budget,” Johnson told Security Systems News. “And in July of 2014 I was able to secure a $3 million debt-in-equity position from Cassell Global Investments, which allowed us to buy back all of the paper, so we hold all of the RMR in-house. Now that we recently secured another credit limit of $3 million with Cassell, the funding will allow us to grow into the future.”

Vortex Security, which had 650 customers at the end of 2014, is now close to 2,500 customers, and is projecting around $1.4 million for the year in revenues—up about 30 percent from last year, according to Tango.

“We are excited to reach $100,000 in RMR, which was one of our big targets for 2016,” Tango told SSN. “With the expansion this year we have opened a satellite office in Tampa and an office in Broward County with some industry veterans that I know to help lead sales in those offices, which are going well.”

With additional funding secured, the company is looking at some potential acquisitions for 2017. “We started to do some initial research on a couple of possible acquisitions, so that is part of the growth model that we are looking at for 2017,” said Tango.

Johnson added, “One of the acquisitions that we are looking to make is a company that is involved in commercial fire, so we are hoping that if that goes through, we can baby step into the commercial fire business and at some point become a big player in that area as well.”

Vortex, which does 65 percent of its business in residential and 35 percent in commercial (mostly small business), is an Alarm.com dealer that works mainly with equipment manufacturer Interlogix, which recognized Vortex in 2015 as the tier managed dealer of the year for most growth in all of North America.

Tango pointed out that a big trend on both the residential and small business side is automation.

“When we first started in 2014, 14 percent of our accounts had some kind of automation device in them and this year we will have 50 percent of our accounts with automation devices in them,” he said. “So it is just tremendous growth and we are going to continue to try to build on that moving forward because that is what we see as the future of this industry.”

“We are looking to expand as our brand gets out there and we continue to grow it,” said Tango.