Amazon’s $1B Ring founded by ‘Shark Tank’ reject
For Ring founder Jamie Siminoff, this week’s announcement of the smart doorbell maker’s sale to Amazon marked the culmination of a lengthy rise for the startup that once endured public rejection on a popular television series. Ring, which also makes cameras and other home security gadgets in addition to its trademark video-enabled doorbells, will operate under Amazon’s massive e-commerce umbrella in a deal valued at more than $1 billion, according to Reuters. The deal closed nearly five years after Siminoff’s company presented to investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and left without a deal.
“We had a lot of failure along the way,” Siminoff told FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman in 2016. “We believed deeply in the mission, so we’re a very mission-backed company around solving a real problem in real communities for real customers.” Founded in 2012, Ring had just eight team members and faced mounting costs when it appeared on “Shark Tank.” Siminoff, who developed the first smart doorbell in his home garage, wrote in a 2015 blog that he felt “horrible” when none of the “Sharks” invested in his company.
“I could not believe that we had done all of that work and were walking away with nothing,” he said at the time. However, that appearance proved to be a catalyst for Ring’s business. The company sold millions of dollars-worth of doorbells after appearing on the show, which enabled Siminoff and his employees to branch out into other products. Ring secured several private investors over the years, including billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, who helped raise $28 million in 2016. The company also attracted Amazon, which first invested through its “Alexa Fund,” a venture capital arm that provides funding for voice technology innovation.
Ring is expected to remain largely autonomous under Amazon, according to Geek Wire. The company’s products are already available on Amazon’s website. “Ring is committed to our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods by providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our Neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, our communities, and the world,” the company said in a press release. “We’ll be able to achieve even more by partnering with an inventive, customer-centric company like Amazon. We look forward to being a part of the Amazon team as we work toward our vision for safer neighborhoods.” Siminoff declined to provide further comment on the acquisition.