British Gas has announced that it is to acquire AlertMe, the company that powers its Hive Active Heating, in a deal worth £44 million. This figure includes the 21 per cent holding that British Gas already has in AlertMe, bringing AlertMe's total valuation to £65 million.
AlertMe, founded in 2006, operates in the connected home environment. It's probably best known for being the platform that powers British Gas' Hive heating system, but also offers connected home solutions, like remote security and monitoring.
The acquisition by British Gas will strengthen the energy provider's position as a leader in smarthomes, looking to expand beyond the 150,000 customers that are already using Hive.
Although British Gas hasn't revealed products that we can expect to see in the future, it has stated that there are plans to build on the success of Hive. This acquisition is really about bringing all the skills in-house to make that happen.
"With access to new technology and skills, we're strengthening our capability at British Gas to develop a family of products that will put people in control of their homes in a way that's simply never been possible before," said Nina Bhatia, commercial director of British Gas.
When Hive was launched in 2013, British Gas made it clear that this was a starting point rather than a standalone product. Although it's difficult to guess exactly what's coming next, we think it's likely that AlertMe's home automation (security, smoke detectors, lights) will find its way into the Hive offering.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by Q1 2015.