How it began
Aleksandr Konotopskyi, CEO of Ajax Systems, decided to establish a company with the aim of taking the niche of producing medium-price security systems, which lies between cheap Chinese and expensive Western brands.
First detectors were ready in a year. The product proved to be quite successful in the local market, but when the team presented it at an international exhibition, no one showed any interest in it. You won’t surprise anyone in the world with an import-substituting solution; what you need is something new and unique.
Then, Aleksandr and the team decided to create a security system from scratch with a communication protocol, control panel, detectors, cloud server and a mobile app of its own.
After 3 years of development, Ajax Systems introduced the next generation of wireless detectors. The first release included motion, door/window opening, smoke, glass break detectors and modules that allowed connecting devices to security central units of other manufacturers (Ajax didn’t have its own central unit yet).
A proprietary radio protocol Jeweller was created for the operation of the detectors, providing a communication range of up to 2000 meters and allowing the devices to operate for up to 7 years using bundled batteries. Attention was paid not only to the reliability of the devices but also to their design, convenience and ease of use.
Ajax innovations have attracted the attention of the Ukrainian venture fund SMRK, co-founded by Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO of the famous Ukrainian company MacPaw. After receiving a $1 million investment from the fund, Ajax Systems used it to expand its product line and create an integrated security system.
Also, to guarantee the high quality of the product, production was organized in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ajax Systems employed 40 people at that moment.
Beginning of international expansion
The company released the intelligent Hub central unit that integrates security devices into a single system, the Ajax Cloud server and apps for convenient system control from a smartphone.
Also, smoke, leakage detectors and a relay for remote power control were introduced. Thus, the system started protecting not only against robbery but also against fire and flooding and provided an option to control electrical appliances in the house.
In the same year, Ajax Systems successfully entered the world market, presenting its product at three major security fairs in Las Vegas, London and Essen (Germany).
The number of employees increased 2.5 times to 125 people. The product line extended to 13 devices, and production tripled to 12,000 units per month by the end of the year. Sales of Ajax products started in 5 countries worldwide.
2017 was the year of prestigious awards for Ajax. The company won awards at international security exhibitions, including “Security System of the Year” at IFSEC in England and “Best Innovative Product” at MIPS/Securika. Ajax became Europe’s most awarded wireless security system.
The R&D team improved the hub’s operational system and named it OS Malevich. The system is highly reliable, resistant to viruses and cyberattacks, and ready to be improved even further.
An option for integrating video surveillance has also been added; thanks to the support of a standard RTSP protocol, it became possible to connect virtually any IP video camera to Ajax.
Ajax Systems showed good results in terms of business growth; sales volume increased 5 times, and the number of countries of presence increased from 45 to 67. Ajax sales grew particularly fast in Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
The team increased to 230 employees and the production rate increased to 44,000 devices per month.
Preparations for the next breakthrough
It was a year of refactoring for Ajax. The key priority was an optimization of the internal processes of the company – in particular, preparation of the production for further aggressive growth.
Ajax has successfully passed the European quality audit and received a certificate of compliance with the European standard EN 50131 and Grade 2 under the 5th scheme.
One of the priority goals for the year was the launch of outdoor protection devices. The line was opened by MotionProtect Outdoor, an outdoor motion detector with two-stage protection against false alarms.
Another important event was the release of Enterprise API, an interface for integrating Ajax products with third-party services and apps.
In 2018, Ajax Systems entered into a long-term partnership with a professional Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk and released a series of videos about Ajax systems.
The company has passed the mark of 1,000,000 manufactured devices. The team increased to 450 people, and the output exceeded 100,000 detectors per month.
Multi-release, smart home and $10 million from Horizon Capital
2019 became the year of opening new security possibilities for Ajax. The largest release in the company’s history – the Multi-release – presented several major novelties and updates at once:
- Safe photo-verification of alarms became available for Ajax thanks to the release of a new Hub 2 control panel and MotionCam detector with a camera. Exclusively for MotionCam, the Ajax team has developed another radio protocol, Wings, which provides safe image transmission in less than 9 seconds from a distance of up to 1,700 meters.
- Creation of a safe smart home based on Ajax is one of the priority areas of development for the company. A big step in this direction was new automation scenarios, which allowed the system not only to notify about alarms but also to actively counteract them (automatically shut off the water in the house when a leak is detected, etc.) The line of automation devices was extended with a smart plug called Socket, and the wireless alarm Button received an alternative mode for scenarios managment.
- The new intelligent ReX radio signal range extender increased the potential Ajax coverage area from 12 to 16 km². And with the OS Malevich 2.8 update, Ajax hubs can operate with 5 ReXs at the same time, increasing the maximum coverage area to 35 km².
The company’s exceptional results and success in local and international markets helped attract $10 million in investment from the international fund Horizon Capital. The long-term goal of the partnership is to put Ajax Systems on IPO.
The company keeps expanding; over the past 4 years, Ajax Systems has grown 100 times, the production volume has increased to 220,000 devices per month, the number of markets where it operates has reached 93, and the number of employees is now 800+ people. A new R&D office was opened in Kharkiv and representative offices in the UAE and the UK.