Amazon has announced its intention to acquire iRobot, an independent consumer robotics company.
iRobot is best known for Roomba robot vacuums and Braava robot mops, but it also offers air purifiers, handheld vacuums, and educational robots to help kids learn programming at home and at school. Amazon spends $1.7 billion(Opens in a new window) ($61 per share) in an all-cash transaction to take control of the company, but would require iRobot shareholder approval and regulatory approval for the sale.
“Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I can’t think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I’m so excited to be a part of Amazon and see what we can build together for customers in the years to come.” said Colin Angel, Chairman and CEO of iRobot.
Amazon notes that iRobot has “a history of making customers’ lives easier with innovative cleaning products for the home,” indicating that this is where the focus will be on future iRobot products. It seems likely that Amazon will continue to use the Roomba brand because it’s so well known to consumers, but we’ll have to wait and see if the word “Echo” gets tagged somehow.
Amazon also confirmed that once the sale is complete, Colin Angle will remain as iRobot’s CEO, indicating that it intends to keep the company operating as a separate entity.
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“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven their ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and innovative products — from cleaning whenever and wherever customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to emptying the collection bin,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices. Customers love iRobot products—and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to create ways to make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
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