After 12 Years of Roomba, iRobot Eyes Startups for Sector increase

Roomba 880

Curt Woodward

It’s been a dozen years because the authentic Roomba hit the market, and the ground-hugging self sufficient vacuum remains to be the largest-selling product for its producer, iRobot.

That hasn’t come without some making an attempt. Ever heard of the Scooba? How about the Looj? The Mirra? these are all iRobot products that followed the Roomba, aimed respectively at cleansing flooring, gutters, and swimming pools.

None of them has taken off just like the outsized hockey percent that started it all. As CEO Colin angle informed analysts on a up to date convention call, “our largest problem for persisted robust boom is overcoming skepticism.”

Which brings us to iRobot’s plunge into the corporate mission capital sport.

The Bedford, MA-primarily based firm quietly emerged as an investor late closing 12 months, placing cash into a 3D room-mapping software startup known as Paracosm. last week, word trickled out that iRobot (NASDAQ: [[tickerIRBT]]) was planning to make its venture investing a more formal affair, with an lively search for a West Coast employee to guide the trouble.

In many ways, the new challenge arm will be seen as an extension of iRobot’s long-running analysis and development efforts. while it’s indubitably that you can imagine that iRobot could finally end up buying firms in its portfolio, the VC application’s “main intent is to spur innovation in robotics and robotics-related areas,” firm spokesman Charlie Vaida said.

by means of cutting exams to promising startups in its container, iRobot can regulate emerging markets, establish corporations to accomplice with, and even “elevate the speed of innovation by using going outdoor corporate partitions,” Vaida said.

the corporate also hopes to simply spur increase in the robotics trade at massive, Vaida stated—a intention that could also lend a hand raise iRobot’s fortunes.

iRobot has considered increased gross sales for its dwelling robots because it has interested by heavier ad spending, but most of that growth is driven by using the Roomba line, which introduced a brand new top rate model in 2013. sales of other ground-cleansing bots, just like the moist-mopping Scooba and Braava models, haven’t grown as fast as the company needs, prompting iRobot to focus on more advertising and in-retailer promotions for those merchandise in 2015. … subsequent web page »