According to a report from Reuters, Amazon has acquired smart doorbell maker Ring for over $1 billion. Ring has burst on to the smart home scene in the past few years with their lineup of integrated home security products that range from cameras, floodlights, to their trademark doorbell.
Ring is expected to continue operating under their brand name and remain relatively independent from Amazon. The exception being when it comes to product and feature integrations that are appropriate for both sides. This is similar to how Amazon handled past acquisitions such as Zappos, Woot!, Twitch, and Audible.
“Ring is committed to our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods by providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, our communities, and the world,” a spokesperson from Ring said in a statement. “We’ll be able to achieve even more by partnering with an inventive, customer-centric company like Amazon. We look forward to being a part of the Amazon team as we work toward our vision for safer neighborhoods.”
The move is not that surprising considering Amazon’s increased focus on home security. In December, Amazon acquired battery-powered security camera company Blink. The Amazon Cloud Cam was also released last fall. This coincided with the launch of their Amazon Key service that allows approved delivery drivers access to your home. While there has been no word yet from Amazon about future plans, it would make sense to see Ring integrated into the Amazon Key service at some point.
Amazon has also released two video-enabled Echo devices in the past year. Both the Amazon Echo Show and Amazon Echo Spot allow users to pull up live camera feeds with an Alexa command (“Alexa, show my front door”). Ring has had an Alexa Skill for this since June and support should only improve. The doorbell video feed can also be accessed through Fire TV devices.
Early speculation is that this move is a shot across the bow of existing home security companies. ADT’s stock was down sharply after the news and companies such as Comcast and SimpliSafe have to be wondering what’s next. With Amazon’s Prime service constantly adding new features to members, it’s not a stretch to think a cloud based security service could be added as an extra perk for members. Especially when they integrate it all with their cameras and smart speakers.
The $1 billion price tag shows the meteoric rise from Ring over the years. The company’s humble beginnings was featured on an episode of Shark Tank in 2013 under the name DoorBot. The sharks passed in a decision they likely regret after today’s news. The company was eventually able to acquire over $209 million in funding according to Crunchbase.