Amazon is Buying Smart-Doorbell Maker Ring
Amazon has announced they will be purchasing Ring, a smart-home technology company that makes video doorbells. Based out of Santa Monica, Ring was founded six years ago and offered a single product: a WiFi-enabled video doorbell that allows homeowners to monitor who is at their front door by utilizing a smartphone app. A motion detector built into the door alerts users when a visitor arrives at their doorstep, and the app gives them the ability to see, hear, and speak with the visitors before deciding to let them in. Ring now offers a wider range of products, including a security camera that has several mounting options, including one powered by a solar panel.
In a statement given by an Amazon spokesperson to CNBC, they said, “Ring’s home security products and services have delighted customers since day one. We’re excited to work with this talented team and help them in their mission to keep homes safe and secure.” So far, the official terms of the deal have yet to be announced, but according to several sources, the deal could cost upwards of $1 billion.
This past year has seen a massive increase in Amazon’s interest in smart home technology. Their wildly popular Alexa-enabled devices have made their way into the homes of millions of homes. Four months ago, Amazon announced their Amazon Key service, which allows Prime members to grant keyless access into their homes for certain individuals, including package delivery, dog walkers, or house cleaners. The service starts at $250, and was initially criticized for the strange nature of it. However, it is clear Amazon is viewing this as a technology that will be more heavily utilized in the future, with their buying of Ring underlining this support. The Amazon Key system works in hand with the Amazon Cloud cam and a compatible smart lock. With their acquisition of Ring doorbells, it is only adding another piece to this array of tech.
Ring CEO and founder Jamie Siminoff spoke about how the success they have achieved didn’t come at an easy price. Back in 2013, Siminoff appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, but was unable to secure an investment he deemed fit for the company. Kevin O’Leary was the only investor to make him an offer, but to Siminoff, it was unacceptable.
He told CNBC, “I remember after that Shark Tank episode literally being in tears. I needed the money, we were out of money at the time.” After his appearance on the reality TV show, his company experienced extensive growth. In the four years since, his business is now valued at $1 billion. The company now has 1,300 people, 10 products, and is sold in 16,000 stores. Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson has even joined as an investor in the company.
As for Amazon, we can expect them to continue to acquire companies like this, as they move forward into the smart-home industry. Amazon has experienced immense growth in the past few years, snapping up a wide range of companies relating to various sectors of the tech industry.