Home startup SmartThings, backed by PayPal co-founder Max Levich, was acquired by Samsung for $200 million last week. Samsung won the deal over several other prospects. Chief Executive Officer for SmartThings, Alex Hawkinson, says SmartThings “will operate as an independent company within Samsung’s Open Innovation Center group.”
The platform for SmartThings enables the consumer to control their appliances, electronics and such, like lights and garage doors, over the internet and through a phone application.
SmartThings, which is owned by the Physical Graph Corporation, raised over $15 million in venture capital from Greylock and Russian investor Yuri Milner, to name a couple.
“SmartThings has created a remarkable universe of partners and developers and now has the most engagement of any smart home platform in the world,” according to David Eun, Head of the OIC. “Connected devices have long been strategically important to Samsung and, like Alex and his team, we want to improve the convenience and services in people’s lives by giving their devices and appliances a voice so they can interact more easily with them. We are committed to maintaining SmartThings’ open platform, fostering more explosive growth, and becoming its newest strategic partner.”
SmartThings has received criticism for the buyout. Many folks expressed concerns like whether or not SmartThings’ new parent company might shut down any iOS development. Another concern was whether or not SmartThings would drop its free service and elect to start charging monthly fees.
All of these concerns were met with a resounding, “no,” from founder of SmartThings, Alex Hawkinson, over social media.
According to David Eun, “With Samsung behind us, we will be able attract more device makers and developers to unlock the limitless possibilities of the consumer Internet of Things. We are thrilled to become part of the Samsung family and continue our goal in making every home a smart home.”