In a surprise move, Amazon has announced the acquisition of iRobot for $1.7 billion. If the acquisition goes through, Amazon will own the Roomba and all of iRobot’s advanced robotic vacuum technologies. It’s a massive deal that will greatly expand Amazon’s presence in smart homes.
Roomba has remained the best known robotic vacuum cleaner for almost twenty years. It pioneered several technologies, and notably runs the custom iRobot operating system. We expect Amazon to take advantage of some of the iRobot OS features, including object recognition and room mapping, for future smart home products. I’m sure the engineers at Amazon Astro will appreciate this purchase!
Now, iRobot will continue to operate under CEO Colin Angle. But Amazon will collaborate with iRobot to “invent ways to make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.” Neither company provided further explanation.
The all-cash deal is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. That said, Amazon is paying around $61 per share, which is a 22% premium over iRobot’s stock price on August 4th. Regulators are probably the only obstacle to this deal.
At the time of this writing, Roomba products are compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. They also integrate with Siri, even though HomeKit doesn’t support robotic vacuum cleaners. We expect Amazon to expand Roomba’s smart home support (for all platforms) using the Universal Matter standard, though this is just speculation.