Alarm.com started trading on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol ALRM. Shares were issued at $14, the midpoint of the expected range.
The home security and automation firm’s CEO Steve Trundle rang the opening bell. At 11 a.m., shares were trading at about $17, an increase of 21 percent. At that price, the company will have raised nearly $120 million.
The increased visibility upon going public and additional funds will be needed as Alarm.com looks to cement its position as a leading smart-home firm.
Icontrol is the firm's most direct competition. That company provides the underlying platform for various providers including ADT, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Rogers and Swisscom. Icontrol also released a solution for independent security dealers earlier this year.
Competition is building from other directions as well, including technology giants such as Apple with its HomeKit and Google with Nest Labs, which just upgraded its camera offering.
Additionally, Vivint, which was once a reseller for Alarm.com, now offers its own smart-home platform. Vivint also has a robust solar business and has begun dabbling in internet offerings. Other energy players, like NRG, are also building out smart-home offerings.
A recent survey from Icontrol found that people across all age groups would consider smart-home purchases from security companies, which is good news for Alarm.com.
Although security is top of mind for many people when investing in high-tech home purchases, increasingly consumers are looking elsewhere for smart-home offerings. Consumers over 45 were slightly more likely to choose cable and telco providers over a security provider, according to the survey, whereas younger consumers were likely to also shop through technology companies.
The competition in the connected-home market is good news for utilities that are looking for partners to engage customers in the home, especially around demand-response and energy-efficiency programs. Depending on the regulatory environment in different states, however, the entry of companies such as NRG and Vivint with comprehensive home and energy offerings could cut into the relationship utilities have with customers.
Alarm.com purchased EnergyHub in 2013 to build more utility relationships, which it has done through bring-your-own-thermostat programs. EnergyHub operates as an independent company within Alarm.com, but having a public parent company should help it compete for more of these types of residential demand-response programs against players such as Nest and Comcast.
Alarm.com has more than 2.3 million customers, up from about 500,000 in 2010. First-quarter 2015 revenue was $46 million with a net income of $3 million, with a year-over-year revenue growth of 25 percent, according to the company's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Overall, the smart-home market is expected to grow from less than $6 billion in 2013 to about $15 billion by 2018. So far, home safety has led the space, but subscription-based security may not drive the market in the long term.
Alarm.com plans to drive future sales by recruiting additional service providers to offer its software-as-a-service platform. The company said in its S-1 filing that it plans to work with other home-service providers to grow its customer base. It’s still early days, so Alarm.com is focusing on upgrading traditional security customers to its connected home platform and looking beyond North America for future opportunities.
Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Stifel, Raymond James, William Blair and Imperial Capital are underwriting the stock offering. In 2012, the Vienna, Virginia-based company raised $136 million.