Samsung could have made a big leap into the Internet of Things [IoT] space with a reported multi-million dollar deal to buy home automation company SmartThings.
A confidential source told TechCrunch that the deal has been completed for around $200 million [£116 million] or slightly less and even though another source said the deal is not done yet, it is close to being completed.
SmartThings provides a variety of different solutions for the home that allows household devices like lights, door locks and plug sockets to be connected up to a system controlled centrally by a smartphone.
The startup has already sourced $15.5 million [£9.05 million] in funding through a series of successful funding rounds that has seen the likes of Greylock Partners and Highland Capital Partners invest in the IoT specialist.
It started off life on KickStarter with a campaign between August and September 2012 seeing 5,694 backers pledge some $1,209,423 [£705,000] – just south of five times as much as the targeted $250,000 [£145,000] sum.
Samsung’s entry into the smart home market has been inevitable ever since Apple launched its HomeKit and Google purchased Nest with the three companies likely to juke it out in much the same way as the global smartphone and tablet markets have played out.
The reported $200 million [£116 million] that Samsung has spent looks rather small fry compared to the $3.2 billion [£1.8 billion] Google parted with to get its hands on Nest, a company headed by two former Apple executives that manufactures smart learning thermostats.
All three are investing heavily in the IoT sector due to heady growth figures that have been attached to it by various ratings agencies. Gartner, for example, predicts the IoT sector will reach 26 billion units by 2020 representing a 30-fold increase compared to 2009 and some would say even that is too modest an estimate.