The largest online retailer Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire iRobot, the maker of the infamous Roomba robot vacuum cleaners. The deal is valued at approximately $1.7 billion. The transaction will be done entirely in cash.
“Customers love iRobot products – and I’m excited to work with the team to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices.
It’s unclear how iRobot will be integrated into Amazon’s portfolio once the deal is finalized and approved by regulators. However, Amazon seems intent on keeping Colin Engle as CEO of iRobot.
iRobot has been designing robot vacuum cleaners since 2002. Not only has it sold millions of its popular Roomba vacuum cleaners, but it has made them a kind of byword for this type of cleaning appliance.
Earlier this year, the company launched the new iRobot OS, an AI-based platform, for its robot vacuums and mops. The system is designed to differentiate Roomba products from competitors with additional software features and capabilities as the market for cleaning robots gets hotter.
Although Amazon hasn’t detailed its plans for iRobot, it’s likely that the Internet giant will be looking for synergy with its smart home products. The combination of Roomba, Alexa, Ring doorbells and other smart devices form a complete portfolio of home automation solutions, but also give the company an incredible amount of data. This naturally raises even more questions about privacy.