Amazon acquires Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7 billion

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Amazon devices are listening, watching, and they’re about to clean you up.

The e-commerce giant will buy iRobot, best known for its robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba, in a $1.7 billion deal. From fitness wearables to streaming devices to its digital assistant, Alexa, Amazon has refined its device lineup into an ecosystem that connects consumers more closely with the company and its services. Last year he presented Astro, over $1000 the robot is designed to carry around small items and protect its cameras from intruders.

The deal announced Friday is also a continuation of Amazon’s business strategy to expand market share across product categories through acquisitions. This countered the Ringwhich makes video doorbells and other smart home technology, in 2018 in February, and before that blink, which makes connected cameras and doorbells for the home. It also stunned the grocery industry in 2017 when it announced the purchase Whole Foods Marketthe deal is valued at 13.7 billion

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

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

The move comes just two weeks after Amazon. announced it will buy primary care provider One Medical. for 3.9 billion The tie-up, one of the largest acquisitions ever, gives Amazon a physical network of health care offices and providers and strengthens its existing portfolio of health care services, which includes an online pharmacy and Amazon Care, a virtual and home-based urgent care service. service.

Amazon’s offer of $61 a share represents a 22 percent premium to Thursday’s closing price of $49.99. Shares of iRobot rose nearly 19.1 percent on Friday. and closed at $59.54.

“We know that saving time is important, and jobs take up precious time that could be better spent doing things that customers love,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices. “Over the years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive.

in 1990 Founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology robotics, iRobot offers a wide range of automatic vacuums and mops, as well as air cleaners and handheld vacuums. His signature Roomba, which retails for as much as $1,000, learns floor contours and angles and can detect objects by offering connectivity to WiFi networks and smartphones, and can be summoned by voice-activated smart home devices. The company began trading on the Nasdaq exchange in 2005.

Although iRobot is the most popular name in home robotics, it’s had a rough year. reported on Friday Second quarter The income amounted to 255.4 million. It reported 43.4 million. USD net loss for the three-month period ended July 2.

The company also plans to move some non-core engineering roles to lower-cost regions as part of a cost-cutting plan and lay off 10 percent of its workforce, about 140 employees, according to the earnings report.

The company canceled the 2022 announced in May. financial forecast and suspended all other guidance on future performance, citing “ongoing disruptions and uncertainties that may affect the company’s outlook.”

iRobot’s products that map out customers’ most intimate spaces will complement Amazon’s suite of products that watching the houseand the people in it.

What started as a microphone in a speaker has evolved into a growing genre of devices designed 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 the Echo Show that watches and listens to your home, along with a host of other products and services that monitor users in some way. anticipate their needs.

The growth of such technologies highlights consumers’ growing tolerance for sensors and cameras that are trained in their daily routines. The development drew criticism from privacy advocates and concerned consumers. It also highlights how tech giants are looking at the home as yet another platform for a variety of services and a gold mine of personal data.

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

Amazon shares fell 1.2 percent on Friday. and closed at $140.80 for a market cap of $1.4 trillion.

Last week, the Seattle-based giant reported its second straight quarterly loss of $2.03 billion, or 20 cents per share, on $3.9 billion in revenue. . But Amazon also posted a better-than-expected $121.2 billion in revenue during the period. USD income Second quarter.

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