Amazon just expanded its home-security business this week after acquiring Ring, a company that manufactures WiFi-connected cameras and doorbells.
The deal comes months after the online retailer began selling its own digital security system, which works with its voice-assistant Alexa.
While the Seattle-based corporation declined to say how much it was paying for Ring or when the deal will closed, the agreement is reportedly worth $1 billion.
Unfamiliar with Ring? Here’s what you should know.
Founder Jamie Siminoff was an inventor at an early age.
He gravitated toward entrepreneurship thanks to his father, who was a co-owner of a plant that forged steel pipes for oil refineries, the Los Angeles Times reported. During the summers, he’d drive forklifts and cut weeds, but he really tapped into inventing at home. He’d build mouse traps, heated blankets and remote-controlled cars with his dad’s tools.
“People would drop by, and it became a joke for them,” Siminoff said in the article. “‘We got a new TV. I know Jamie wants to take it apart.’”
He thought of the idea for Ring after he realized he couldn’t hear his own doorbell.
After successfully selling two start-ups for a combined $18 million, the Babson College graduate worked in his garage with a business partner to plot a new idea, according to the LA Times. He suddenly realized he could not hear his doorbell and created a way to receive alerts and live video, powered by Wi-Fi, when people were at his door.
The products now include a range of doorbells, cameras and other accessories that are compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile. In 2016, IHS Markit said the company, which now has more than 1,000 employees, had 2 million customers and sales of $160 million.
Ring made an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank.
In 2013, Siminoff made his way to the start-up investment show for redemption funds after consumers complained about glitches from the first version of Ring. He asked for $700,000 and estimated that his Santa Monica-based company was worth $7 million. Although the series rejected him, the brand earned $5 million in sales later that year.
The company was originally called Doorbot.
He first called the invention DoorBot and the name stuck for about two years. After being rejected from “Shark Tank,” Siminoff rebranded as Ring.
“The name is as important of a change as anything else we are doing. We searched for a new name for 2 main reasons. The first was that we felt doorbot was a bit too “techie” for the home as we became more of a mainstream product/brand and we also wanted a name that would grow with us and fit the mission,” Siminoff said on the business’ blog site. “The name actually comes from the “ring” of security we create around your home, and then in time your community.”
It’s proven to help reduce crime.
Millions have used the products to help reduce crime, the LA Times reported. It’s working, too. In 2016, Ring collaborated with the Los Angeles Police Department to install devices in 10 percent of the homes in the Wilshire Park neighborhood. The LAPD said there was a 55 percent drop in break-ins within the first six months of the installments.