Amazon has acquired Roomba-maker iRobot in a $1.7 billion deal

Amazon has acquired Roomba-maker iRobot in a $1.7 billion deal
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Amazon devices are listening, watching, and soon cleaning up after you.

The e-commerce giant will acquire iRobot — best known for its robotic vacuum Roomba — under a $1.7 billion all-cash deal, its latest move into the home. From fitness wearables to streaming devices to its Alexa digital assistant, Amazon has lined up a line of devices under an ecosystem that binds customers more tightly to the company and its services. It was launched last year Astro, over $1,000 The robot ferries around small items and keeps its cameras peeled for intruders.

The deal announced on Friday is also a continuation of Amazon’s business strategy to expand market share in various product categories through acquisitions. item The ring snapped upwhich makes video doorbells and other smart-home technology, in and before February 2018 wink, which makes connected cameras and doorbells for the home. It stunned the grocery industry in 2017 when it announced the buyout Whole Foods MarketA deal worth $13.7 billion.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.)

The next generation of home robots will be more capable — and perhaps more social

The move comes just two weeks after Amazon announced that it will buy primary care provider One Medical $3.9 billion as part of a major expansion of the tech company’s health-care ambitions. The tie-up, one of its largest acquisitions, gives Amazon a physical network of health-care offices and providers and strengthens its existing health-care portfolio, which includes an online pharmacy and Amazon Care, a virtual and in-home urgent care. . service

Amazon’s $61-a-share offer represents a 22 percent premium over Thursday’s closing price of $49.99. On Friday, iRobot stock rose nearly 19.1 percent to close at $59.54.

“We know that saving time is important, and work takes up valuable time that could be better spent doing something customers love,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices. “For years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with incredibly practical and innovative products.”

Founded in 1990 by roboticists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, iRobot offers an array of automated vacuums and mops, as well as air purifiers and handheld vacuums. Its signature Roomba, which retails for as little as $1,000, can learn the contours and angles of floors and detect objects, provides connectivity to Wi-Fi-networks and smartphones, and can be summoned by voice-activated smart home devices. The company began trading on the Nasdaq in 2005.

Despite being a leading name in home robotics, iRobot has had a rocky year. This information was reported on Friday In the second quarter Revenue of $255.4 million, down 30 percent from the year-ago period. It reported a net loss of $43.4 million for the three months ended July 2.

The company plans to shift some non-core engineering roles to lower-cost areas as part of a cost-cutting plan and will cut 10 percent of its workforce, about 140 workers, according to the earnings report.

The company withdrew the 2022 financial forecast it issued in May and, citing “ongoing disruptions and uncertainties that could affect the company’s outlook”, it suspended providing all other guidance on future performance.

iRobot’s products, which map the floor plans of the spaces closest to its customers, will expand Amazon’s suite of products that work Home surveyAnd the people inside it.

What started as a speaker microphone has evolved into a growing genre of devices to make home life more enjoyable. Last September, at the company’s annual fall press event, Amazon unveiled a 15-inch wall-mounted version of its Echo Show screen that sees and hears your home, and many other products and services that monitor all customers in some way. Anticipate their needs.

The growth of such technology highlights consumers’ growing tolerance for sensors and cameras trained on their daily routines. This evolution has drawn criticism from privacy advocates and concerned consumers. It also mentions how tech giants see the home as another platform to gold mine various services and personal data.

Amazon will acquire iRobot’s net debt under the terms of the deal, which will require approval from regulators and the robot-maker’s shareholders. Colin Angle will remain as CEO of iRobot.

Amazon shares closed down 1.2 percent at $140.80 on Friday, giving it a market value of $1.4 trillion.

Last week, the Seattle-based giant reported its second straight quarterly loss — $2.03 billion, or 20 cents per share — driven by a $3.9 billion write-down tied to its investment in electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive, the Associated Press reported. But Amazon also recorded better-than-expected revenue of $121.2 billion In the second quarter.

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