In a surprise move, Amazon has announced a $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot. If the acquisition goes through, Amazon will own Roomba and all of iRobot’s advanced robot vacuum technologies. It’s a massive deal that will greatly expand Amazon’s presence in smart homes.
Roomba has remained the most well-known robotic vacuum for nearly twenty years. It pioneered several technologies, and notably, it runs the custom iRobot OS. We expect Amazon to leverage some of iRobot OS’ features, including object recognition and room mapping, for future smart home products—I’m sure that Amazon Astro engineers will appreciate this acquisition!
Now, iRobot will continue to operate under the direction of CEO Colin Angle. But Amazon will collaborate with iRobot to “invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.” Further explanations were not provided by either company.
The all-cash deal is still subject to approval from shareholders and regulators. That said, Amazon is paying around $61 per share, which is a 22% premium over iRobot’s August 4th share price. Regulators are probably the only obstacle for this deal.
At the time of writing, Roomba products support both Google Assistant and Alexa. They also integrate with Siri, despite the fact that HomeKit doesn’t support robot vacuums. We expect Amazon to expand Roomba smart home support (for all platforms) using the universal Matter standard, though this is only speculation.