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Amazon deal has familiar Ring to it

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Amazon has agreed to buy video doorbell maker Ring, the companies announced on Tuesday, a move that makes sense for both Amazon and Ring on many levels. The deal, which Reuters was reporting at more than $1 billion, is Amazon’s second acquisition in the security space in just the last few months, as the company purchased security camera provider Blink for $90 million in December.

Amazon is expected to continue—and build on—the Ring brand, as it has with some of its other past acquisitions of Zappos, Twitch and Audible. And with the recent launch of its new service Amazon Key, as well as its new Cloud Cam, Amazon really has wedged its foot in the door of not only home delivery but also home security.

“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,” the company said. “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.”

Ring’s security devices, which have expanded to more than just the doorbell camera, should benefit greatly from this acquisition, not only by the exposure from and support of such a large company, but also in support of Amazon Key, a smart lock and camera system that lets delivery personnel put packages inside a home to avoid theft or, in the case of fresh food, spoiling.

“As Amazon moves more aggressively into the grocery delivery space... we believe smart security devices will be an important factor in driving user adoption,” Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian said in the Reuters press release.

Prior to this deal, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, which offers venture capital to companies working on voice technology, invested in the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Ring. Currently, Ring devices can integrate with Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant Alexa.

Interestingly, Ring CEO and chief inventor James Siminoff brought the product, then called Doorbot, onto the show Shark Tank in 2013, failing to make a deal. In November, Siminoff gave an update on the show, saying that Ring is valued at more than $1 billion and employs more than 1,300 people.

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.—Ring announced Ring Protect earlier this week, a comprehensive DIY home security system that works with Ring’s doorbells and cams.

Business mogul Branson, others, invest in smart doorbell


SANTA MONICA, Calif.—A start-up based here that sells a smart doorbell recently received a lot of help—$28 million—from business mogul Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; home builder J.F. Shea Co.; and home insurer American Family Insurance Group.