After 12 Years of Roomba, iRobot Eyes Startups for Sector Growth
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It’s also worth noting that iRobot’s push comes amid overall investor enthusiasm for robotics startups and a larger push by established technology companies for connected, responsive in-home devices.
Just last week, Cambridge, MA-based social robotics startup Jibo landed a $25.3 million investment round from venture capitalists. Earlier this month, manufacturing-robot maker Rethink Robotics added another $26.6 million, led by big-name investors GE Ventures and Goldman Sachs.
(All of these companies—iRobot, Jibo, and Rethink—will have speakers at Xconomy’s Robo Madness Boston event, hosted by Google in Kendall Square on March 11.)
Amazon, meanwhile, is busy putting its listening-post home assistant Echo device in some early adopter homes, while Google has been on an acquisition tear for in-home devices, adding smart-thermostat maker Nest and home-monitoring webcam startup Dropcam.
That’s a lot of money being wagered that consumers are ready to let more high-tech gear into their homes. As a pioneer of home robotics, iRobot might well be feeling some pressure to make sure it doesn’t get left behind.