San Francisco, United States August 6 — Amazon on Friday announced a $1.7 billion deal to buy robot vacuum maker Roomba in a merger that would help the tech giant’s artificial intelligence and smart home ambitions.
U.S.-based iRobot is a global company that builds robots and “smart home” innovations, having introduced autonomous Roomba vacuum cleaners a decade ago, Amazon said in a statement.
“For many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly convenient and inventive products,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of appliances at Amazon.
Amazon’s deal to buy iRobot for $61 per share as well as acquiring the company’s debt is subject to shareholder and regulator approval.
Colin Angle is to remain iRobot’s general manager after the purchase.
The acquisition “strengthens Amazon’s interest and position in the robotics and home automation market, and underscores the strategic value of AI,” Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note to investors. .
The Massachusetts-based company has 30 years of experience in robotics and underlying software such as mapping and navigation, Sebastian said.
Amazon has invested in smart home and automation technologies with acquisitions such as Ring doorbells, Kiva warehouse robots and autonomous startup Zoox.
“With Alexa and Amazon.com at its core, Amazon continues to prioritize smart home development opportunities,” Sebastian said.
“MGM even fits as it powers more Prime Video on home entertainment devices.”
Earlier this year, Amazon struck an $8.45 billion deal to buy famed MGM Studios, bolstering its streaming ambitions with a catalog that includes the James Bond and Rocky film franchises.