Comcast and Alarm.com are buying and splitting up Internet of Things (IoT) company IControl Networks.
Comcast has just signed an agreement to acquire the Austin, TX based company’s Converge software platform. That platform powers the Xfinity Home touch-screen panel and back-end servers, allowing them to communicate with and manage security sensors in the home, as well as supporting home-automation devices like cameras and thermostats.
Icontrol has been a technology partner with Comcast since the launch of Xfinity Home in 2010. “We look forward to continuing to serve customers using the Converge software platform and to growing Icontrol’s wholesale business by accelerating the development of new services and features,” says the company on its website.
Comcast says the IControl employees who are joining the company in Austin will make up a new engineering center and will work closely with engineers in Philadelphia and Silicon Valley on connected home products. Only time will tell whether this impacts Comcast’s ultimate role in the TecHome. Right now, it is seen as a more DIY-type system used by high-volume builders.
Perhaps the larger story here is Alarm.com’s agreement to acquire two major business units from one of its largest competitors. Alarm.com will buy Icontrol’s Connect and Piper in the deal.
Connect provides an interactive security and home automation platform that powers several service providers’ solutions including ADT Pulse. It’ll be interesting to see if ADT decides to work with Alarm.com, as the two companies are competitive in nature.
Piper designs, produces and sells a Wi-Fi-enabled video and home automation hub. “This acquisition will enhance our research and development scale so that we can continue to deliver long-term value to our partners through innovative technology,” says Steve Trundle, president and CEO of Alarm.com.
Alarm.com is paying $140 million for the acquisition with a combination of cash and debt available under the company’s credit facility. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Comcast has invested $100 million in IControl to date.
It’s easy to understand Comcast’s reasoning for the purchase, but the motive behind Alarm.com’s acquisition will be seen in the weeks and months ahead. Is it more than just taking out one of its competitors?
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