While New England celebrated another championship today (and most everyone else cried in their beer), the folks at Anova had their own reason to celebrate this Super Bowl Sunday: Today the company announced that Swedish appliance giant Electrolux would acquire the fast-growing maker of precision cooking hardware.
The specifics of the deal are as follows: Electrolux offered $250 million in cash for the San Francisco startup, of which $135 million is contingent on performance. As part of the deal, Anova will become a standalone subsidiary within Electrolux and the company will retain the Anova brand. The Anova staff will continue to operate out of San Francisco and Steve Svajian, Anova CEO, will remain CEO of the new subsidiary.
The deal is a significant one for the nascent smart kitchen market, marking the entry of the world’s second biggest appliance company into the precision cooking market. For Anova, the deal comes at a time of fast growth; they sold 400 thousand circulators in 2016, about double what it did the year previously, and they expect to hit one million in spring of 2017. At the same time, they are seeing increased competition from likes of ChefSteps and Gourmia.
The acquisition comes after eight months of negotiation between the two companies. Talks started after Ola Nilsson, who is CEO of Electrolux’s home care and small appliances group, reached out after buying an Anova precision cooker. After an initial phone call in summer of 2016 between Nillson and Svajian, negotiations continued to heat up and culminated in early January around the time of the Consumer Electronics Show.
The deal marks a nice exit for Anova, which was cofounded by Svajian, Jeff Wu and Dr. Frank Wu and Natalie Vaughn in 2013. The company shipped their product that year, the market’s first sub-$200 sous vide circulator. A year later, the company shipped their first connected product, a Bluetooth-connected precision cooker. They’ve since released a dual Bluetooth/Wi-Fi model and, late last year, announced a precision countertop oven at the Smart Kitchen Summit which is expected to ship in the fall of 2017.
According to Electrolux’s Nillson, while they plan to keep the Anova brand front and center as they enter the precision cooking market, eventually they see extending the Electrolux brand as well.
“I think (Anova) can contribute a lot to the Electrolux group and how we go to market, and eventually how we can bring precision cookers to the consumers under our brands.”
We’ll have more analysis on the deal and what it means for the smart kitchen market in coming days, so stay tuned.
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