Smart home management firm AlertMe bought out by British Gas

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Credit: S. Higginbotham

The British smart home outfit AlertMe has a long history with British Gas – back in 2009 it scored its first trial with the country’s biggest energy supplier, and in 2012 it was chosen to provide the software for British Gas’s smart meters across the country. Its technology also underpins British Gas’s Hive Active Heating system.

Now the two have formally tied the knot. On Friday British Gas announced it was buying out AlertMe, in which it already held a 21 percent stake, for a net cost of £44 million ($68 million). AlertMe said the deal was worth an overall $65 million ($100 million). British Gas parent company Centrica said it expected the transaction to be completed by the end of the quarter.

Centrica said the purchase would give it a connected home boost in its other territories, such as the U.S. (where it owns Direct Energy) and Ireland (where it owns Bord Gáis.)

AlertMe provides a modular connecting home system called Omnia, comprising an energy analytics software service, energy monitoring and control, and home automation – covering everything from surveillance and various alarms to remotely controlled door locks.

The company makes the smart home management system sold by Lowe’s in the U.S. under the “Iris” brand. Then there’s its AlertMe Cloud, running on Amazon Web Services, which ties the whole caboodle together and comes with APIs for device and application partners.

AlertMe also has customers in other energy providers such as Essent in the Netherlands, which is part of energy giant RWE. I asked the company where such non-Centrica deals will stand, and a spokeswoman told me that “as far as existing customers are concerned, there’s no change.”

“The intention in the global market is selling the product as a platform-as-a-service — there are opportunities beyond the Centrica group companies,” she added. AlertMe currently has 70 full-time employees and made £17.8 million in revenues in 2013.

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