One of the biggest news in the industry is the acquisition of Wink by singer will.i.am’s venture company i.am+. The Hollywood star’s company has made smartphone case, wearables and wireless headsets in the past. What caused i.am+ to lay its eyes on Wink this time? The answer is potential profit.
Wink was sold for US$38.7 million with a US$20 million commitment on future manufacturing resources, according to its previous owner Flex’s quarterly report. Back in 2015, Flex spent $15 million for the Wink buy-out from the bankrupt incubator Quirky. In other words, Wink brought Flex double amount of the original price in two years.
“Wink app and Wink Hub will continue to operate just as they have. The acquisition doesn’t change anything with regards to the Wink user experience,” said Wink on a memo sent to its users. In addition, the company said it will introduce a number of new in-app features and partner integrations in the coming months.
It’s possible that i.am+ has conducted researches on new technologies can make profit and found smart home hub to be attractive. After all, tech giants like Samsung, Apple, Amazon and Google all invested heavily in the sector recently.
i.am+’s willingness to back up Wink is a positive for the startup, but also worrisome considering the history of i.am+. Its failed products include a camera ($262) that can attach to a smartphone and a smart wearable device ($527) that received cruel feedback.
Another deal might give more clues on the matter. August Homes has raised US$25 million in the Series C funding round, while US$10 million came from Australian utility company AGL.
August Homes has focused its business on smart home security, such as smart door locks and doorbell cameras. Instead of focusing only on energy technology, the Australian company wants to draw in residential customers with its offering on home security plans.
While small-scale technology startups may have difficulty keeping a business running, investors, with technology background or not, are willing to spend their money for opportunities of bigger profits.