Amazon comes to your home and buys iRobot vacuum cleaners

After Amazon Ring (alarm) and Amazon Alexa (voice assistant), it’s time for iRobot brand robot vacuum cleaners to join the Amazon range. The e-commerce giant has just acquired the American firm known for its Roomba, for an amount of 1.7 billion dollars. At a time when the market is mainly represented by Chinese companies, this acquisition sends a strong message for the American industry in home automation.

In detail, the transaction will go through an offer at 61 dollars per share (the price of iRobot is currently 50 dollars), which the shareholders should validate unanimously. Both companies are listed on the Nasdaq and in a press release Amazon justified its choice by its interest in “innovative capabilities” of the brand.

The name iRobot is not expected to disappear. Amazon said it intended to keep the identity of iRobot and the line as such. Incidentally, iRobot’s CEO, Colin Angle, will remain in place. Alongside Roborock, Dreame and Xiaomi, iRobot’s name is known internationally and Amazon does not want all of its products to be marketed solely under its name.

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On the other hand, equivalent products launched by Amazon are not to be ruled out. An example proves it: last year, the American giant presented Astra, a domestic robot supposed to be able to perform a series of actions and provide service to the occupants of a house throughout the day.

These types of products could benefit from iRobot’s technological advances. In its products, after a robot vacuum cleaner, the Massachusetts firm has innovated with a floor cleaning robot: the Braava. But of course, the goal is above all to be able to take advantage of the interconnectivity of home automation products to ensure that customers buy all the products that are compatible with each other for their home.

Worldwide, the market for home automation systems is expected to exceed $50 billion this year. Its outlook to 2029 is $92 billion according to a report by Data Bridge Market Research.

The story behind iRobot

In the highly lucrative robot vacuum market, Amazon has long courted the product by seeing how well it was selling on its e-commerce platform. Even more interesting than a connected bulb, a robot vacuum cleaner is a real time saver for customers and a way for Amazon to take a first step in connected equipment for its customers’ homes.

Founded in 1990, the iRobot company experienced an exceptional acceleration in 2018. Four years ago, it exceeded one billion dollars in turnover for the first time and its growth has not stopped since. Contrary to appearances, the activity of iRobot mainly started in military supplies. A full range of small machines were developed between 1990 and 2008.

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