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SimpliSafe home security locks down a $1 billion investment

The money comes from the private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman and will help fund the company's expansion into international markets.

SimpliSafe, makers of a popular install-it-yourself home security system that won Editors' Choice here on CNET, have announced a deal with the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman "to accelerate the company's growth and expansion of the home security market."

Now, sources close to the company are confirming reports that the deal is a majority investment valued at about $1 billion. Those sources also tell CNET that the money will help accelerate a planned international expansion to multiple regions, including Canada and the UK, where SimpliSafe has already established an office, with the company's VP of Operations and second-ever employee Will Deines currently setting up shop.

Though the H&F investment nets the firm a controlling interest in the company, SimpliSafe's existing management team will continue to oversee day-to-day operation of the company, those sources say.

"Home security is at an inflection point," says Chad Laurans, SimpliSafe's CEO. "Despite the market's growth, today still only 20 percent of homes are protected."

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That spells opportunity for SimpliSafe -- and it also might help explain the recent arrival of some tough new competition. Last year, Alphabet-owned Nest released its own home security system to work in conjunction with its popular smart thermostat and cameras. Earlier this year, Amazon moved to acquire Ring, makers of a popular video doorbell system. The mega-retailer has since started offering Alexa-centric home security packages with no monthly fees.

SimpliSafe's edge thus far: relatively low-cost professional monitoring, a heavy presence on radio and TV airwaves and generally positive reviews for the company's no-contract, DIY approach to home security (including here on CNET). SimpliSafe also boasts integrations with Amazon's Alexa and with the August Smart Lock.

SimpliSafe claims that it now provides coverage to over 2 million Americans. To date, the company has raised about $57 million, much of that coming from a 2014 funding round led by Sequoia Capital.