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Ecovacs Cleans Up After iRobot Crashes

Ecovacs, who recently overtook sales of US brand Roomba owned by iRobot has seen an uplift in their stock after it was revealed that they out sold US based iRobot in several Countries last year.

The Company who is about to release a new ‘affordable premium’ robotic vacuum model in Australia, is the #1 robotic vacuum brand in Australia according to retailers.

Today the value of the business has skyrocketed to A$9.4 billion which is almost five times that of U.S.-based iRobot, who manufacture the Roomba which is distributed in Australia by IXL Home.

Recently Chinese brand Roborock., run by ex-Huawei executives moved into the Australian market in an effort to try and take on Ecovacs who outperforms Dyson robotic vacuum clears as well as Samsung and LG.

Roborock marketing executives who worked at Chinese Company Huawei who have been banned by the Australian, US and UK Governments, are back up to their old tricks of trying to isolate media who question the methods of the Chinese Company that is owned by Beijing Roborock Technology Co. Ltd. that was founded in 2014 in Beijing, China.

Credit: Ecovacs

A major investor in the business is Xiaomi, who like Huawei and ZTE are facing their own problems because of the bans by several Western Countries.

As a result, Google suspended Xiaomi’s Android license, which means Xiaomi is unable to pre-install Google apps such as Google Play Store and Google Maps on its devices.

Th ban also affected Xiaomi’s ability to access certain components and technologies from U.S. companies, which could impact the functionality and performance of its devices.

ChannelNews understands that it was the success of Ecovacs in the Australian market that attracted the Chinese brand Roborock to set up in Australia. Currently Roborock is trying to enter the Australian market via direct sales, Amazon, Kogan and at Harvey Norman.

iRobot Vacuum cleaner

The Ecovacs Australian operation, formally known as Ecovacs Robotics, s run in Australia by Karen Powell with the business developing a reputation for their cutting-edge robotics technology which has led to sales success in this market.

For market leader Ecovacs one of their standout products is their Deebot robotic vacuum cleaner, which is powered by chips from Horizon Robotics, which ironically is an automotive technology company that was founded in 2015 and today collaborates with Volkswagen.

The Deebot vacuum also features Ecovacs’ own lidar — light detection and ranging — sensing system as well as a high-definition camera so it can map a home using data collected for efficient cleaning. The cameras can be turned off or isolated after use.

Ecovacs management said, “We’re using automated driving technology in our products,”.

The Company also uses artificial intelligence chips and deep learning technology to control movement of their robotic vacuum cleaners.

In Australia Ecovacs is selling a wide line-up from their entry-level models that are sold at Aldi to their top $2,499 models that are proving popular at the likes of The Good Guys and JB Hi Fi.

Australia is not the only market where sales are surging.

In Japan revenue jumped 23% to $2.18 billion, for the first nine months of 2022, topping iRobot’s roughly $1.76 billion for all of 2022.

In Australia Ecovacs appears to only have a registered business name with no financials filed with ASIC.

According to analysts Ecovacs is steadily picking up customers from iRobot whose global market share shrank from 64% in 2016 to 46% in 2020, and according to research firm Statista.

Currently the US iRobot who initially pioneered robot vacuums, is struggling with a slump in the U.S. Australia and Europe.

Last year Amazon made a bid for iRobot with both the US and EU questioning the deal.

Amazon it is in talks with regulators on its $1.7 billion bid for iRobot with the takeover drawing tough scrutiny by the UK, US and EU regulators due to regulatory concerns about deals by Big Tech

The Financial Times recently reported earlier that the European Union is set to investigate the purchase that Amazon announced last August, adding that regulators have sent the e-commerce giant a series of detailed questions over the proposed transaction.

Earlier this year iRobot said it would cut 85 jobs, or 7% of its workforce due in part to Ecovacs stripping market share away from the US Company in their home market.

The iRobot share price is down about 30% from right after the announcement of the proposed acquisition by Amazon.com.

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