Westec Intelligent Surveillance, the nation's remote video monitoring company, announced it secured an additional $20 million in equity funding. The investment was led by Argonaut Private Equity and Egis Capital Partners with support from existing investors. The funding will be used to support the company's organic growth, as it continues to penetrate the retail, restaurant and hospitality markets. Westec also announced Kelby Hagar, the current President, will now assume the additional responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer.
A recent survey points to an increase in theft with the sinking economy. The Current Crime Trends Survey, released in January by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), found evidence that crimes against retailers are rising in correlation with the sinking economy. Among the key findings: 84 percent of respondents report an increase in theft/amateur shoplifting, 76 percent say they've seen an increase in financial fraud, 80 percent note increases in organized retail crime, and 77 percent of specialty retailers say they've experienced increases in organized retail crime.
"Helping retailers be more profitable is an exciting proposition in this economy,” said Steve Mitchell, Managing Director with Argonaut Private Equity. “We see Westec as the leader in an industry that is poised for growth.” “Raising capital at this time and in this economic environment had its challenges, but we achieved a major milestone in the company's development which will allow us to maintain our leadership position,” said Kelby Hagar. “The capital will enable us to strengthen our balance sheet and provide growth capital for expansion of the business.”
Westec is the only security provider to offer two-way audio connections directly in to each location they monitor. It has the unique ability to provide virtual guard services for a fraction of the cost of security guards and with better performance. For example, a trained professional can monitor a retail location live from Westec's command center in Iowa. With any threat, Westec's Intervention Specialists can push a button and talk to the potential thief at the store, notifying them that they are being monitored and if necessary dispatch police. Westec also provides savings to retailers with improved operations and a dramatic reduction in theft and loss.
"We save over $2.2 million dollars on an annual basis since we replaced our security guards with the Westec Virtual Guard Service,” said Rich Mellor, VP of Loss Prevention with Helzberg Diamonds. “Our stores are safe, our executive management team is delighted with the savings, and I can rest at night knowing our locations are being watched 24/7 by a team of experts.”
"We're very familiar with the security industry,” said Robert Chefitz of Egis Capital Partners. "Westec is one of the best examples of providing both a return on investment solution and peace of mind for our commercial customers. It has the largest recurring monthly revenue stream, a unique and impressive product and service offering and it's led by one of the most successful executive teams in the business.”
The provider of interactive video monitoring, Westec delivers the industry's only intelligent business monitoring solution serving Fortune 500 companies and smaller owner/operators throughout the U.S. Its strategic business solutions help leading retailers, restaurants and other companies improve operations and profits through intelligent business monitoring services. For more information on Westec Intelligent Surveillance, visit www.westec.net.