- Amazon is acquiring Ring, which makes smart doorbells with video cameras.
- Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but news reports pegged it at more than $US1 billion.
- Ring got its start on the TV show “Shark Tank” in 2013.
Amazon is acquiring Ring, a startup that makes a popular line of video-camera doorbells, in $US1 billion deal that could help Amazon enmesh further into consumers’ homes and lay the framework for a high-tech pipeline that delivers retail goods and groceries straight to them.
The deal, which Amazon and Ring representatives confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday, supplements the retail giant’s growing selection of smart-home appliances, epitomized by its Echo line of smart speakers. Neither company disclosed financial terms of the deal, but press reports including Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, pegged it at more than $US1 billion.
That would make it one of largest deals in Amazon’s 24-year history, alongside its $US13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in August and the $US1.2 billion acquisition of online shoe retailer Zappos in 2009.
Ring’s video doorbells, which range in price from $US179 to $US500, beam an image of whoever is at the door to a homeowner’s smartphone.
Amazon told Business Insider in an emailed statement: “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.”
From rejection to Richard Branson
With Ring, Amazon gets a popular product that could allow the company to expand its push to marry hardware with its retail delivery business. In October, it introduced Amazon Key, which relies on a home security camera and a smart lock to recognise couriers and let them enter a building to deliver a package when no one is home.
Ring said in a statement on Tuesday that working with an “inventive, customer-centric company like Amazon” would allow it to further its “vision of safer neighbourhoods.”
The deal marks a remarkable success story for Ring, which made its inauspicious debut in 2013 on the TV show “Shark Tank.” The startup, then known as DoorBot, failed to impress most of the judges but went on to rebrand and catch on with consumers.
Despite being a small company, Ring quickly got distribution at top retailers such as Best Buy and Target. In 2015, it even attracted the attention of Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, who liked the product so much that he became an early investor.
Amazon was already an investor in Ring through its Alexa Fund, according to Crunchbase. In January 2017, Ring raised $US109 million from investors including Goldman Sachs and Qualcomm Ventures. According to a report from the news website Axios, Ring was in the process of raising capital at a $US1 billion valuation.
News of the Amazon acquisition was first reported by Geekwire on Tuesday.