Amazon to buy Roomba-inventor iRobot for $1.7 billion

BEDFORD – Amazon is acquiring Roomba-inventor iRobot for $1.7 billion, the two companies announced Friday.

The Bedford-based company was founded by MIT scientists in 1990 and introduced the wildly popular robot vacuum in 2002.

“Since we started iRobot, our team has been on a mission to create innovative, practical products that make customers’ lives easier, leading to inventions like the Roomba and iRobot OS,” iRobot CEO Colin Angle said in a statement. “Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission.”

Amazon will buy iRobot stock at $61 per share and take over the company’s net debt.

“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive-from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin,” Amazon Devices SVP Dave Limp said. “Customers love iRobot products-and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

As of 2021, iRobot said it has sold more than 40 million home robots worldwide.

Second quarter financial results reported on Friday showed iRobot’s revenue was $255.4 million – a significant drop from $365.6 million in the second quarter of 2021. iRobot blamed the decrease on “unanticipated order reductions, delays and cancellations from retailers.”

iRobot said in the financial report that it would be cutting costs and laying off about 140 employees – about 10% of the company’s workforce.

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