The deal, announced in February and closed today, means Amazon now owns a leader in DIY video security systems. Ring makes popular wireless doorbells with cameras and a range of home security cameras, recently launching a wireless home security system with keypads, contact sensors and motion detectors.
Ring becomes Amazon’s second largest acquisition to date, following its $13.7bn deal last year for Whole Foods Market. The financial details of the deal were not released.
Dave Limp, Amazon’s head of devices under whose division Ring will now report to, said of the deal: “Ring was doing great. It was growing remarkably year-on-year by any metric, including in the number of customers but also by traditional financial metrics, from already sizeable numbers – so we feel like it was a great deal for both sides.”
Amazon marked the close of the deal by slashing the price of Ring’s original video doorbell from £159 to £89, a move that it is expected to be the first of many across Ring’s product line.
Ring founder and chief executive Jamie Siminoff, who will stay in place under Amazon, said: “I call this deal a milestone and not an acquisition or an exit, because I see it as a step along the road of our mission to provide effective and affordable protection for neighbourhoods.
“Combining with Amazon allows us to come into a large organisation that has a lot of different support mechanisms, and leverage them, be it technology, a service or something else, to scale much faster than we would have been able to do before.”
Siminoff said Amazon’s scale will enable a price change that will enhance the accessibility of Ring’s products and bring them to a wider demographic, but that it would be business as usual for existing Ring customers for the foreseeable future.
Unlike competitors, Ring does not offer AI-assisted video profiling, sticking to a simpler video locker-like approach that simply stores the recorded video for a certain period for customers to manually review at a later date. However, part of the deal will be the transfer of Ring’s customer data to Amazon.
Limp said: “At Amazon for 20-plus years have had a policy that the privacy of customer data is a core value, something we share with Ring, so we’ll take as stringent a standard we’ve always had for everything, including customer credit cards, and apply it to Ring’s data.”
For Ring, Amazon will provide access to a support system, including intellectual property from previous acquisitions such as Blink, that will help it scale. But for Amazon, Ring provides a popular and trusted brand that will aid its push into customer homes, from Alexa devices to in-home deliveries, which is seen as the next big thing in online retail.
Limp said: “Could we have done it ourselves? Sure, we can do anything, probably, over the course of time.
“But you love it when you run into opportunities where you have an incredibly mission-oriented leader and a team that executes extremely well, products that customers absolutely love and are already at scale – Ring checked all those boxes.”
Ring will also give Amazon a leg up on competition. Google’s Nest division has similar cameras to Ring, and recently launched its own video doorbell and home security system.
With Amazon and Google duking it out over voice assistants, in what is considered the next evolution of computing after the desktop and the smartphone, Ring could be the edge that Amazon needs to keep its ecosystem built around its market-leading Alexa voice assistant out in front.