The deal will deepen Amazon’s presence in consumer robotics. Amazon made a bold bet on the space last year when it revealed the Astro home robot, a $1,500 device equipped with the company’s digital assistant Alexa, that can follow consumers through their homes. It’s also launched a range of smart home devices like ring doorbells, as well as voice-activated thermometers and microwaves.
“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven their ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and inventive products – from cleaning when and where customers want, while bypassing common household obstacles , right down to automatically emptying the collection bin,” he told Dave Limp, Amazon’s chief hardware officer, in a statement. “Customers love iRobot products – and I look forward to working with the iRobot team to find ways to make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
The acquisition is the fourth largest deal after Amazon’s Purchase valued at $13.7 billion of the grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017, its $8.45 billion purchase of the film studio MGM last year and its $3.9 billion acquisition of boutique primary care provider One Medical, which was announced last month.
Founded in 1990 by roboticists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, iRobot is best known for making the Roomba, a robot vacuum cleaner introduced in 2002 that can autonomously clean consumer floors. Since then it has introduced robot mops and pool cleaners. iRobot also has a subscription program that offers automatic device replenishment among other services.
Upon closing of the transaction, Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot, will continue to lead the company.
iRobot’s shares are up more than 18% in premarket trading after being briefly halted following the deal’s announcement. Amazon stock lost about 0.5%.
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/amazon-acquire-maker-roomba-vacuum-roughly-17-billion-rcna41705 Amazon is acquiring the maker of the Roomba vacuum for around $1.7 billion