Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announced today it purchased Icontrol Networks Inc., an Austin, Texas-based company that developed key technologies for Comcast's Xfinity Home service. The company said the Icontrol employees in Austin joining Comcast "will make up a new Comcast engineering center of excellence in Austin that can take advantage of the great energy and talent that city has to offer."
Comcast did not provide financial details on its purchase of Icontrol. The company did note that Alarm.com will purchase Icontrol's other two major business lines, Connect and Piper. Connect is based in Redwood City, California, and offers an interactive security and home automation platform that powers several service providers' solutions including ADT Pulse with 1.6 million subscribers. Piper, meantime, is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and offers a Wi-Fi-enabled video and home automation hub. Alarm.com's transaction is valued at $140 million.
"Icontrol has been an important technology partner for Comcast since the launch of Xfinity Home in 2010," Comcast said in its announcement. "The main business we are acquiring is Icontrol'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 was founded in 2003 and offers connected home technology to a handful of MSOs including Cox Homelife, Bright House Home Security and Control, Mediacom Home Controller, Time Warner Cable Intelligent Home and others. "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," Comcast said.
Comcast's acquisition of Icontrol doesn't come as much of a surprise. A report on Medium earlier this month indicated Comcast and Alarm.com were negotiating to purchase Icontrol.
Icontrol was backed by $90 million in private investment, but its business was hurt by the emergence of off-the-shelf, DIY home-automation and security products. The company responded by launching its own DYI product lines. And, notably, in 2014 it acquired Blacksumac and its Piper all-in-one home security product for $239 million.
However, Icontrol found itself competing directly with its big operator clients. When Comcast started integrating third-party home-automation devices like Chamberlin garage door openers, Lutron Caseta wireless light controllers and Nest Learning thermostats directly into X1 last fall, Icontrol was left out of the equation.
- see this Comcast post
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