updated 10:55 pm EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Korean company reportedly paid out $200 million for two-year old company
SmartThings has announced on its blog today that electronics powerhouse Samsung has acquired the home automation company. CEO Alex Hawkinson stated that SmartThings would continue operate independently under Samsung's Open Innovation Center group. TechCrunch first reported on the sale in mid-July, with sources stating a deal had been sealed for around $200 million. SmartThings didn't comment on the terms of the sale in the latest announcement.
"We will continue to run SmartThings the way we always have: by embracing our community of customers, developers, and device makers and championing the creation of the leading open platform for the smart home," said Hawkinson. "Our growing team will remain fully intact, and will relocate to a new headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. In short: SmartThings will remain SmartThings."
According to Hawkinson, the deal with Samsung would allow SmartThings to leverage different channels on a global scale. Even though the company is going to be under Samsung, by retaining its independent operation it is standing firm to its commitment of the open platform. Hawkinson believes the sale will help SmartThings reach out to more developers, applications, devices and leading smartphone vendors.
David Eun, who heads Samsung's Open Innovation Center, told Recode that Samsung was interested in the pursuit of the open platform for the smart home, as consumers have numerous devices.
"Samsung has been committed to smart homes and connected devices, and has tried to paint this vision for a while," said Eun. "But since consumers have lots of different devices, the trend is really toward open, and our approach is to be open and protocol-agnostic."
SmartThings moved into the tech industry after a successful campaign on Kickstarter, raising $1.2 million in funding after only seeking $250,000. The campaign successfully funded the creation of the SmartThings Hub, which allowed several types of home automation devices to be controlled from its SmartApps platform. The open platform hub supported a handful of standards including Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and Zigbee. The company later expanded into sensors and other devices.