Amazon Puts a Ring on It

By Paula Bernier February 28, 2018

Amazon seems to be everywhere these days. It’s online, at the grocery story, in your house, and now – with its new acquisition of Ring – on your doorstep too.

News surfaced today that Amazon is buying Ring for more than $1 billion. Santa Monica, California-based Ring sells a doorbell with a built-in camera. It displays on users’ smartphones a live video feed so they can see who is ringing their bell.

This is just the latest move by Amazon to get a foot in the door of the connected home space. The company sold tens of millions of its Alexa voice assistant products over the holidays.

And in October, the company got a ton of publicity for its Amazon Key solution. That’s a service through which delivery people can actually enter the homes of Amazon Prime members to drop off Amazon packages. (Amazon Key is enabled by the company’s own Cloud Cam along with compatible smart locks from Kwikset and Yale. The do-it-yourself kit starts at $249.99.)

But, allowing delivery people to enter customer homes was understandably a controversial idea. And there was a flurry of news coverage showing how this kind of thing could go wrong.

Perhaps the Ring deal is in part of Amazon’s answer to that.

Ring has seen great success since its 2013 appearance on the show Shark Tank. Founder and CEO Jamie Siminoff didn’t win the TV competition. But it did help drive sales for Ring, which at that time was called Doorbot. And Simioff was able to attract Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Qualcomm Ventures as investors.

Siminoff was also a presenter at StartupCamp9 at ITEXPO in 2014. During his presentation, he said he used crowdfunding to get the venture off the ground.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

Executive Editor, TMC

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