Samsung’s acquisition of IoT start-up SmartThings is confirmed

15 Aug 2014

First reported back in July, it has now been confirmed that Samsung has bought over SmartThings for an alleged US$200m sum.

SmartThings CEO and founder Alex Hawkinson confirmed the acquisition and, though neither company has revealed the price paid, the figure of US$200m continues to be cited.

According to a report from Re/code, Hawkinson will remain at the helm of SmartThings, which will operate independently of the South Korean electronics giant. However, its 55 Washington, DC-based employees, as well as those from offices in San Francisco and Minnesota will have to move to Palo Alto, California, to become part of Samsung’s Open Innovation Centre.

For Hawkinson, the decision was based on scale and the desire to bring SmartThings’ platform and devices to millions of customers and a growing base of developers.

The internet of things is now the trend of choice among tech giants, with Apple working on its HomeKit platform to put the iPhone at the centre of smart-home technology and Google snapping up smart home appliance-maker Nest (with a heftier price tag of US$3.2bn) at the start of the year.

SmartThings has the best of both worlds: a smart home platform and the devices to interact with it. The start-up is dedicated to maintaining SmartThings as an open platform to ensure there are few limits facing users who wish to connect to their devices.

The company originally raised funding through Kickstarter and then investment of more than US$15m followed from Greylock Partners, Highland Capital Partners, First Round and others.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.