Turns out Amazon buying Eero wasn’t the startup success story we thought

When Amazon bought the router company Wi-Fi Eero, our first reactions were of exhaustion, consternation and concern: why a small company with an excellent product with a privacy mentality can not leave it on its own devices, in place to get hooked? Why Seattle's big data giant?

Now, we know why. Mashable reports that Amazon paid only $ 97 million for Eero, much less money than the $ 148 million it allegedly raised as a new company. That's something you do not do unless your business is in trouble, and it means that Amazon may have saved Eero from a different destination.

The Verge can confirm that number of $ 97 million, by the way, as well as many of the others in the history of Mashable : we have seen similar documents, and we believe they are the true deal. Eero declined to comment.

There are many potential side effects in the fact that Amazon bought Eero in a fire sale rather than a profit, and Mashable's report details some of them, such as how Eero executives they are behaving like bandits with multi-million dollar gold parachutes, while rank and file employees are now sitting on worthless stock options, or worse, stocks they bought for $ 3 that are now worth $ 0.03 each. That's not unusual, but it's a warning about how stock options work .

But, and now we are very involved in the territory of speculation, I am curious if it also means that we should expect less from Eero, under Amazon, than we could have if it were more a success story for the startup. If Amazon could pay so little for Eero, it might well have smaller ambitions for the company, and it would be much easier to justify the murder as a failed experiment if something goes wrong.

After all, Amazon paid more than $ 1 billion for the manufacturer of Ring Smart Ring in early 2018, and has just begun to integrate its products with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant in a simple way, more than one year later.

It could also mean that Eero executives had much less leverage in negotiations to maintain control of the Eero brand and its operation. The good news is that Amazon's executive vice president of devices and services, Dave Limp, assured us last month that the company has no plans to change anything, and will maintain the company's privacy policy as it stands. "In any case, we're only going to reinforce our commitment to privacy and security," Eero CEO Nick Weaver told us at the time.

And as Tony Fadell of Nest and Palmer Luckey of Oculus will tell you, a great sale price does not necessarily mean that a founder continues to run a company indefinitely once it is sold.

Amazon's Dave Limp insinuated in March that he should expect to see Eero's first attempts to "make the smart home even easier" in the next 6 to 12 months.

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