Amazon is taking a firm step into the home robotics sector with the $1.7 billion Roomba iRobot purchase deal, meaning the e-commerce giant will pay $61 per share in the transaction.
With this agreement, Amazon seeks to deepen its presence in the consumer robotics sector where it already has the Astro device, whose price is around 1,500 dollars and which is equipped with the Alexa digital assistant to follow them inside your home. The company also has a series of devices, such as thermometers and smart bulbs.
“For many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with products that are incredibly convenient and resourceful, from cleaning when and where they want while avoiding common obstacles,” said Amazon’s chief device officer. , Dave Limp.
He was also excited to work with the iRobot team to “invest in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable. After the agreement between the two companies was announced, iRobot shares rose more than 18%, while Amazon fell 0.5%.
iRobot is a company founded by robotics specialists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is popular for making the Roomba vacuum cleaner, which has the ability to clean the home autonomously.
Although the company has also launched robotic mops and has services, such as a subscription program to change equipment, Roomba is the jewel in the crown, as its various versions have been a best seller, to the point that the company developed a specific operating system for its devices.
iRobot OS launched in May of this year and is intended to set Roomba products apart from competitors with additional software features and capabilities as the space in which it cleans becomes smaller or more cluttered.
The system has various scopes, such as providing cleaning recommendations, task scheduling or even specific vacuuming options for pets. In addition, it has up to 600 commands compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
It is worth mentioning that Amazon was becoming one of its competitors in the home robot sector, but with this acquisition the company seeks to strengthen its efforts and generate an ecosystem that includes Echo, Ring and Roomba devices.
Although no details were provided about how iRobot will be integrated into Amazon after the purchase agreement is finalized, Amazon intends to keep Colin Angle as the company’s CEO.
In Mexico, the company has had very good acceptance since it arrived in 2017. A couple of weeks ago it presented its j7 and j7+ models in the country, where company executives pointed out that despite having grown in the country, its penetration of market is less than 2.5%, compared to 7-10% in the United States, but its goal is to grow more in the next five years.