Amazon acquires iRobot from Roomba in $1.7 billion deal


Amazon devices listen, watch, and soon they’ll be cleaning up after you.

The e-commerce giant will acquire iRobot — best known for its robotic Roomba — in an all-cash deal worth $1.7 billion, the latest move in its push home. From wearable fitness devices to streaming devices to its Alexa digital assistant, Amazon has developed a range of devices within an ecosystem that connects consumers more tightly with the company and its services. Last year, it was introduced Astro, over $1000 The robot aims to move small objects and keep its cameras peeled for intruders.

The deal announced Friday is also a continuation of Amazon’s business strategy to expand market share in various product categories through acquisitions. He. She Catch the episodewhich manufactures video doorbells and other smart home technologies, in February 2018, and before that eyelash, which makes connected cameras and doorbells to the house. It also stunned the grocery industry in 2017 when it announced its purchase Whole Foods MarketA deal worth $13.7 billion.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

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This move comes just two weeks after Amazon Announced it will buy primary care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion as part of a major expansion of the technology company’s healthcare ambitions. The link, one of the largest ever acquisitions, gives Amazon a physical network of healthcare offices and providers and enhances its existing healthcare portfolio, which includes an online pharmacy and Amazon Care, a virtual and in-service urgent care.

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

“We know that saving time is important, and that chores take up valuable time that can be better spent doing something customers love,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon devices. “Over many years, the iRobot team has proven their ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and innovative products.”

Founded in 1990 by robotics professionals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, iRobot offers a line of robotic vacuums and mops, as well as air purifiers and handheld vacuums. Its signature Roomba, which retails for up to $1,000, recognizes the contours and angles of floors and can detect objects, providing connectivity to WiFi and smartphones and can be summoned by voice-activated smart home devices. The company began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2005.

While the iRobot name is the most prominent name in home robotics, it has had a rocky year. On Friday, I mentioned Second Quarter Revenues were $255.4 million, down 30 percent from the same period last year. It posted a net loss of $43.4 million for the three months ended July 2.

The company also plans to shift some non-core engineering roles to lower-cost areas as part of a cost-cutting plan, laying off 10 percent of its workforce, about 140 employees, according to an earnings report.

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

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iRobot Products, which defines the floor plans of their customers’ most intimate spaces, will enhance Amazon’s portfolio of products powered by home watchAnd the people inside.

What started as a microphone in a speaker has evolved into a growing type of device meant to make home life more enjoyable. Last September, at the company’s annual press event, Amazon unveiled a 15-inch wall-mounted version of the Echo Show that watches and listens to your home, and a number of other products and services that monitor all consumers in some way anticipating their needs.

The growth of this technology highlights consumers’ increasing tolerance for sensors and cameras trained in their daily routines. This development drew criticism from privacy advocates and concerned consumers. It also underscores how tech giants view the home as another platform for a host of services and a goldmine of personal data.

Amazon will receive iRobot’s net debt under the terms of the deal, which will require regulatory approval and the bot maker’s shareholders. Colin Angle will remain as CEO of iRobot.

Amazon shares fell 1.2 percent on Friday to close at $140.80, giving it a market value of $1.4 trillion.

The Seattle-based giant last week reported its second straight quarterly loss — $2.03 billion, or 20 cents per share — driven by a $3.9 billion reduction linked to its investment in electric car startup Rivian Automotive, the Associated Press reported. According to the Associated Press. . But Amazon also posted better-than-expected revenue of $121.2 billion in a year Second Quarter.

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