Tech giant Amazon looks to acquire iRobot for $1.7 billion to gain more ground in the consumer robotics industry.
Amazon (AMZN: NASDAQ) is reportedly acquiring Roomba maker iRobot for $61 a share in an all-cash deal valued at $1.7 billion. Amazon intends to leverage the iRobot acquisition to deepen its presence in consumer robotics since iRobot currently produces a substantial lineup of automated home cleaning appliances such as mops and lawn mowers. The company is best known for its flagship robotic vacuum Roomba product.
Commenting on the iRobot deal, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, Dave Limp, stated:
“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive – from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin.”
Limp also noted that the collaboration with iRobot is an exciting new way to help customers:
“Customers love iRobot products – and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
iRobot Chairman/CEO Comments on Amazon Deal
Chairman and CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, also weighed in on his company’s acquisition by Amazon. According to Angle, “Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission.”
In addition, the iRobot chairman also expressed optimism about the future of his company’s partnership with Amazon. This is because iRobot’s overarching mission since inception has been to “create innovative, practical products” that ergonomically enhance customers’ lives.
Upon conclusion of the acquisition deal between both companies, Angle will stay on as CEO at iRobot. However, the deal remains subject to standard industry conditions. These include approval from regulators and iRobot’s shareholders.
iRobot shares surged by more than 18% in premarket trading following the announcement. Meanwhile, the shares of Amazon were down around 0.5% for the same trading session.
Amazon Strides in Consumer Robotics
Amazon demonstrated its intent to consolidate its position in consumer robotics last year by unveiling the Astro home robot. This device costs $1,500 and comes inbuilt with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. Among other things, the Astro home robot can follow consumers around their homes.
In addition to the Astro home robot, Amazon introduced an array of smart home devices with voice control for end users. Some of the devices include thermometers, lightbulbs, and microwaves.
Founded in 1990 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists, iRobot is a global consumer robot company. The company designs and builds sentient robots as well as advanced-thinking home innovations that improve quality of life. iRobot’s most popular product range is the self-applied robotic vacuum floor cleaner Roomba. The company launched the first Roomba robot vacuum in 2002 and has sold millions of units since then.
In addition to Roomba and other autonomous cleaning implements, iRobot has a customer subscription program. Here, consumers are privy to a range of additional services, including automatic equipment replenishment.
Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.