LG buys Homey in a very Samsung SmartThings move


LG has acquired an 80 percent stake in Athom, a Dutch company best known for its Homey smart home platform. The deal, which LG says will see it acquire the remaining 20 percent of Athom within the next three years, has been forged to expand LG’s smart home ecosystem and should position it to better compete against Samsung’s rivaling SmartThings platform.

LG plans to integrate Athom’s existing Homey connectivity — which supports smart devices from Sonos, Ikea, Aqara, Philips Hue, and more — across its appliances through its ThinQ smart home platform. According to Homey, its users will soon be able to control ThinQ-enabled LG appliances via the platform. Homey has developed a significant user base since it was founded in 2014, with its flagship Homey Pro smart home hub capable of connecting to over 50,000 devices across Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Matter, and Thread.

The deal will enable LG to incorporate third-party devices and services into its ThinQ ecosystem for the first time. LG executive vice president Jung Ki-hyun refers to the Athom acquisition as “a cornerstone for our AI home business.” LG announced plans during CES in January to bring so-called “Affectionate Intelligence” to its ThinQ smart home platform — which Homey’s connection to appliances, sensors, and lighting may now play a part in.

LG says that Athom will continue to operate as an independent company following the acquisition, retaining its current branding and operations. It’s a similar move to Samsung acquiring SmartThings for $200 million in 2014, which has since seen Samsung building multi-connectivity SmartThings support into soundbars, TVs, smart fridges, monitors, and more.

“Homey will continue as it is, with Athom remaining committed to developing Homey Cloud and Homey Pro”

“Homey will continue as it is, with Athom remaining committed to developing Homey Cloud and Homey Pro, and keep working on an ever-expanding lineup of new products,” said Homey in its acquisition statement. “Both the founders, Emile Nijssen & Stefan Witkamp, will stay on as executives of Athom, and continue to execute their vision and create a better smart home for everyone.”

The value of the deal has not been officially disclosed, though The Korea Economic Daily reports that it’s estimated to be around 85 billion won ($61 million). LG also hasn’t clarified how Homey’s connectivity and integrations will be embedded into its products but notes that the deal will allow it to “gain deeper insights into customers’ lifestyle and usage patterns” — which may not mesh well with Homey’s “privacy first” ethos.



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