Amazon delivers a $1B check to video doorbell maker Ring

Amazon is expanding its presence in the smart home market. The e-commerce giant announced Thursday it has officially closed the deal to buy the home security device company Ring. It's a reported $1 billion acquisition, making it one of Amazon's biggest purchases.

Ring, founded in 2013, has more than three million users. It's best known as a smart doorbell maker. 

The device is a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell that streams live audio and HD video, letting users see what's happening on their property and communicate with visitors, even when no one's home.

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Ring home security system can stream video to a user's phone.

Ring

On "CBS This Morning" Friday, Ring CEO and chief inventor Jamie Siminoff said he does not believe the windfall will change his company.

"What's great about Amazon -- and they have a great history of this in purchasing other businesses -- is it doesn't change us," Siminoff said. "They're going to let us continue doing what we do with the same team and keep building toward our mission of reducing crime in neighborhoods.

"We did a study with the LAPD where we actually reduced crime by 55 percent in a neighborhood by just putting 10 percent of the homes with Ring."

But given the recent concerns over social media companies' use of consumer data, Siminoff said Ring was aware the responsibility it has over the video and audio that is recorded at customers' homes.

"Ring is a security company, and we're a brand," he said. "And I think to be a trusted brand, and to accomplish our mission of reducing crime in neighborhoods, you have to start with security and privacy, and protecting people's data. If you don't do that, no one will trust me to protect their home. And so for us it's a core of the company's values."

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Some of Ring's home security products.

Ring

The rich acquisition of Ring belies the company's humble beginnings. Siminoff admitted he did not have have any visions of grandeur when he created Ring in his garage.

"I was actually working on something completely differently, which was a gardening startup, and I couldn't hear the doorbell [in my garage]," he said. "And so I built this Wi-Fi doorbell, and it was my wife who said it made her feel safer at home."

And while Siminoff's pitch on the TV reality show "Shark Tank" was rejected in 2013, he says the national exposure from the show saved his business. "So, even though we didn't get a deal, in the end being on the show is probably one of the biggest things that happened to the company. So I thank the Sharks every single day for what they did for us!"

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.