Samsung has reportedly completed a deal to acquire SmartThings, the start-up behind an easy and open smart-home platform, for US$200m.
Though TechCrunch’s sources are conflicted on whether or not the deal has been finalised, as well as the definitive sum involved, a number of tech news outlets have picked up on what is a likely acquisition.
Samsung’s chief competitor in the mobile device market, Apple, last month previewed its new HomeKit platform to manage smart-home technology using an iPhone. Meanwhile, Google kicked off 2014 with the purchase of Nest, maker of smart home appliances, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat.
With SmartThings, Samsung could get one over on both companies, by taking over a company with both a smart-home platform and devices to interact with the platform. The Washington, DC-based start-up has built a complete system to let smartphone users monitor, control and automate physical objects around the home, such as fans, lights, heaters and air conditioners.
With the internet of things tipped to dominate the consumer-technology market in years to come, Samsung has already forged partnerships with Dell, Intel, ARM and Nest to design smart home radio protocols from the ground up and to standardise the process of creating smart-home appliances.
SmartThings started out as a Kickstarter campaign but has since become successful in raising investment of more than US$15m from Greylock Partners, Highland Capital Partners, First Round and others.