Amazon has announced that it will acquire iRobot, maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, continuing its breakthrough in connected home devices.
Amazon announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement to acquire iRobot, which markets Roomba vacuum robots, for $1.65 billion (1.62 billion euros).
The e-commerce giant intends to buy iRobot for the price of $61 per share in cash, i.e. 22% more than the last closing price before the announcement. iRobot’s debt is included in the acquisition amount.
“I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
The operation must be validated by shareholders of the vacuum cleaner manufacturer as well as regulators. If approved, iRobot CEO Colin Angle will continue in his role.
The reference of the robotic vacuum cleaner
Founded in 1990 by robotics specialists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), iRobot rose to fame when it launched in 2002 the Roombaa robotic vacuum cleaner that works autonomously.
Thanks to this acquisition, Amazon has expand its range of connected products and services for the homewhich includes among other things the voice recognition application AlexaRing smart doorbells (acquired in 2018) and smart speakers Echo. Customers can also use Alexa to control Roomba vacuums. IRobot also runs some of its software on Amazon Web Services servers.
“I am enthusiastic to working with the iRobot team to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices.
A new submarket for Amazon
Seattle-headquartered Amazon has come a long way as a hardware player since its failed foray into smartphones a few years ago. The company has unveiled new products in each of the past years, with the aim of position yourself at the center of the market particularly flourishing smart home gadgets.
IRobot should allow Amazon to do so now a name in home cleaning gadgets, which could give it a head start on its own models. In autumn 2021, Amazon presented a household robot named Astro, displaying a selling price of around 1,450 dollars (1,418 euros). But the device has not done again fury to consumers.
On his side, iRobot sales have increased during the pandemic, before decreasing after the crisis. The manufacturer announced on Friday a turnover of 255.4 million dollars for the second quarter, lower than analysts’ expectations, which had forecast 301 million dollars.
Amazon shares were down less than 1% in early trade on Friday. Around 3:40 p.m., they were still in the red, at -1.25%. iRobot shares, which are down 24% this year, have jumped almost 20%.