Samsung buys VC-backed home-monitoring smartphone app company


mobile-phone-in-hand-1438232-2-mSamsung’s technology investment arm the Open Innovation Center has agreed to buy venture capital-backed smart home monitoring platform SmartThings.

The company was founded in 2012 combines thousands of smart phone programmes to create one app which enables people to monitor, control, and automate systems such as the heating and security of their homes remotely.

Previous venture capital investors in the app business include Greylock Partners and Highland Capital Partners who participated in a $12.5 million Series A funding round in November 2013.

SmartThings will continue to operate independently under founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson as part of the deal.

The company will become part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center (OIC) and move its headquarters from Washington to California.

OIC head David Eun said, “SmartThings has created a remarkable universe of partners and developers and now has the most engagement of any smart home platform in the world.

“Connected devices have long been strategically important to Samsung and … 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.”

The SmartThings platform supports more than 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps created by its community of device makers, inventors, and developers.

Samsung launched its Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center in February last year which coincided with the firm allocating $1bn to the Samsung Ventures America Fund, aimed at fuelling innovative technologies and business models, and a further $100m to the Samsung Catalyst Fund.

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