Our mystery product is in the same friend circle as the $1.7B vacuum

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Latest News


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You’ve heard that saying it’s not what you know…it’s who you know.  Before we dive into our mystery company today, I’d like to tell you a little story about the humble beginnings of a potential buddy in the same space. 

Last week we wrapped with a discussion of home automation and the proliferation of IoT products in the past few years. For this week’s Startup Story it seemed only appropriate to cover where it all began for the Roomba and iRobot. The name might have caught your attention recently due to Amazon’s offer to purchase them for $1.7B so we’ll cover how they went from an autonomous vacuum company to Bezos’ newest toy.

Of course the story starts where any tale of robots and artificial intelligence seems to begin… Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After working in the institute’s AI lab, co-founders Rodney Brooks and Colin Angle struck out to found their own company bringing their expertise with them. 

Initially known as IS Robotics Inc., the company would quickly bring its final founder, Helen Greiner into the fold after their founding in 1990. The trio knew their goal was to make ground-breaking robotics technology but were having trouble finding their footing until 1998 when they secured a DARPA grant to develop the PackBot for the US armed forces (a design so good it’s still iterated upon today).

I know what you’re thinking and NO…the Packbot is not this…

It is this…courtesy of army-technology.com:

By now IS Robotics was getting its footing. The team must have anticipated the IoT revolution on the horizon as, according to the founders, the term “iRobot” comes from “internet-connected robot.” While it would take them nearly a decade, this name change in 2000 would foreshadow the future of their business and their industry for years to come.

It was also at this time that iRobot began to drift away from the military contracts that had been its foundation in pursuit of those internet-connected aspirations. Thus in 2002, the Roomba was born. It wasn’t the first autonomous vacuum to hit the market, but due to savvy low-cost manufacturing and parts sourcing, iRobot was able to offer the Roomba at a lower cost with the same amount of efficiency.  And by 2012, the brand had made millions.

In the years since, iRobot has introduced a number of other autonomous-home robots, each fulfilling a specific niche. In 2016 its military technology division had been spun-off into Endeavor Robotics (later acquired by Flir Systems for $385M).

So what’ made Amazon want a piece of the whole pie? Well it’s theorized that it’s the I in iRobot, namely the data your Roomba gathers as it tidies your home and sends it back to its servers. Add to that iRobot’s established prowess in the robotics field and this seems like this is quite the double-threat of an acquisition.

The story of iRobot is a testament to the efficacy of both forward-thinking decision-making and how that can have major benefits even decades down the line. That’s why, when I’m looking for potential startup investments it’s always a positive to see leadership with the future in their sights, that’s why our featured mystery company has me excited!

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So who is this secret potential friend hanging out in the same neighborhood as a $1.7B vacuum

Yes this mystery company and its lead product are also ready to seize the moment of the Smart Home as powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

This company is focused on providing a cost-effective solution to an existing home feature that has been due for an upgrade for decades.

The buck does not stop there, however, as this potentially groundbreaking product will leverage advanced sensors and data collecting technologies, all accessible via your smartphone for ease of access.

Intrigued yet? 

Not to give it away before the upcoming webinar but, according to the company, it holds 5 serious patents to its technology and has an inroad to a segment of the Smart Home industry that is growing annually by 55%!

This potentially revolutionary innovation is set to be revealed later this week in a Webinar where this opportunity will be thoroughly explored.

Don’t miss the next wave in Home Automation and IoT-fueled technology and sign up here for the upcoming Webinar THIS week!

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