PayPal co-founder Max Levchin’s SmartThings, a startup that produces a smartphone app which allows its users monitor and control their domestic affairs even when they are out of their home, has been acquired by Samsung for an undisclosed amount. But in July TechCrunch revealed that Samsung had offered as much as $200 million for the company which was only founded two years ago.
Its app allows users to connect all wireless devices from a smartphone or tablet.
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SmartThings states that its hub and family of devices offer users the opportunity that they need to start experiencing a safer, smarter home. The idea is to provide a way to operate all Internet-connected devices in one’s home that are produced by different companies and as such are not compatible with one another.
Alex Hawkinson, the co-founder and CEO of SmartThings told Forbes, “From the beginning, our goal has been to make a platform every human being could use—and to make every home a smart home. This will help us reach a massive scale. We saw an opportunity to bring SmartThing’s vision to hundreds of millions of customers.”
SmartThings is expected to continue to operate as an independent company, but will be moving its headquarters from Washington D.C. to the Samsung Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California.
Samsung executive vice president David Eun told Forbes about the move, “While the company has been acquired by Samsung, being in the Open Innovation Center, the company will be kept at arm’s length away from Samsung. We want to people to understand how important it is that they will stay independent. SmartThings will continue to work with its developer community and business partners. In the meantime, we’ll be exploring ways to partner with them.”
SmartThings currently has 55 employees and says that it has over 5, 000 independent programmers working on its platform. It has to date brought in $15.5 million in venture capital funding, meaning that a huge windfall is in store for the company’s investors which include Greylock and Russian investor Yuri Milner.
The need for SmartThings, however, might soon be mooted as businesses are working on creating one standard system in the same way that IBM’s operating system became the standard for all personal computers.