The short answer is yes, Amazon.com currently owns and operates Ring as one of their subsidiary companies. But how exactly did Ring go from an innovative video doorbell startup to an Amazon-owned security camera giant?
As an experienced Amazon seller myself, I‘ve watched Ring‘s journey with great interest. Their acquisition by Amazon made perfect strategic sense. And Amazon has used their might to bolster Ring into a security camera leader.
In this 2800+ word guide, I‘ll share the full story of how Amazon came to own Ring. I‘ll provide data and insights into:
- Ring‘s early origins and Doorbot days
- How and why Amazon acquired them
- What Ring devices actually do
- Amazon‘s installation services for Ring
- Ring‘s market position today
- And more Amazon seller insights!
Let‘s dive in.
Table Of Contents
1 Ring‘s Early Beginnings as Doorbot 1.1 Why Amazon Acquired Ring for Over $1 Billion 1.2 How Ring Products Function 1.3 Amazon Installation Services for Ring 1.4 Ring‘s Security System Performance 1.5 Ring‘s Market Dominance Post-Acquisition 1.6 Inside Perspective as an Amazon Seller 1.7 Final Takeaways
Ring‘s Early Beginnings as Doorbot
Today Ring is synonymous with smart security cameras. But it all started in 2013 with the Doorbot. Ring‘s founder, Jamie Siminoff, invented the WiFi-enabled Doorbot as a way to see and speak with visitors at his doorstep from his smartphone.
The idea struck him after he failed to hear the door while working in his garage one day. He thought there had to be a better way. Thus, the Doorbot concept was born.
Siminoff first tried unsuccessfully to raise funds on the TV show Shark Tank. But he didn‘t let rejection stop him. In 2013, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on Christie Street, raising over $300,000 to bring the Doorbot to market.
By November 2013, Siminoff was shipping Doorbot units to his earliest crowdfunding backers. And he was off and running on this new video doorbell venture.
Over the next few years, Siminoff focused on growth and expanding his product lineup. By 2014, Doorbot had rebranded to Ring, referring to its ability to "ring" a doorbell from anywhere.
The company raised over $60 million in funding in 2016 alone. And by 2017, Ring was shipping an estimated 1 million units annually, capturing an impressive 61% market share in the video doorbell category they pioneered.
Then in February 2018, Amazon purchased Ring for over $1 billion dollars. And the rest is history!
Why Amazon Acquired Ring for Over $1 Billion
As an experienced Amazon seller, Amazon‘s 2018 acquisition of Ring made perfect sense to me. Here‘s why Amazon was keen to scoop up Ring:
Expand Amazon‘s Smart Home Ecosystem
Amazon‘s Alexa and Echo products are meant to be the hub of consumers‘ smart homes. But for that to work, Amazon needs compatible smart home devices like Ring.
Acquiring Ring allowed Amazon to expand their ecosystem and provide more reasons for consumers to buy-in to Alexa-powered products. Ring acted like a gateway drug to get hooked on other Echo and Alexa gadgets!
Enhance Amazon‘s Security/Camera Offerings
Prior to acquiring Ring, Amazon had launched products like the indoor security camera Blink and Amazon Key. But they lacked a robust suite of outdoor security cameras.
Buying Ring gave Amazon a full lineup of video doorbells, spotlight cams, floodlight cams, and more to round out their security portfolio.
|Indoor Cameras||Amazon Cloud Cam||Blink Mini, Blink Indoor|
|Outdoor Cameras||None||Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Floodlight Cam, Ring Spotlight Cam|
|Alarm Systems||Amazon Key||Ring Alarm Security Kit|
As you can see above, the acquisition filled a major hole for Amazon when it came to outdoor cameras and alarm systems.
Leverage Ring‘s Law Enforcement Partnerships
A less known fact is that prior to Amazon acquiring Ring, the company had already forged video-sharing partnerships with 405 police departments across America.
This allowed police fast access to camera footage from Ring owners to help investigate crimes. Amazon could take advantage of these pre-existing relationships.
In fact, the number of law enforcement partnerships has grown from 405 in 2018 to over 2,000 by 2021 after the acquisition. However, this data sharing has also sparked major privacy concerns about expanding surveillance networks across neighborhoods. But that‘s a debate for another time!
New Cross-Sell Opportunities
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to Amazon was the chance to market Ring devices and subscription plans to their millions of customers. Before and after purchasing a Ring product, Amazon can upsell consumers on related offerings.
For example, suggesting professional installation services during checkout or recommending Echo devices to pair with Ring post-purchase.
And the cross-selling goes both ways. Ring‘s multi-million user base became exposure and marketing for Amazon products. It was a perfect marriage to boost sales.
Obtain the Smart Doorbell Leader
Lastly, Amazon knew that Ring controlled 61% market share of the video doorbell category when they acquired them. Not only was Ring an innovator – they were THE market leader.
Amazon spends billions on acquisitions to own the dominant player in a space. Ring represented their chance to conquer the fast-growing smart doorbell segment.
How Ring Products Function
Now that we‘ve covered Ring‘s origins and path to acquisition, let‘s explore how Ring devices actually work. Ring‘s core product is the video doorbell, but they now offer a diverse product suite.
The standard Ring Video Doorbell replaces your existing wired doorbell. It has a camera, microphone, speaker, and motion sensors. Features include:
- HD video – 1080p live stream to your phone when the button is pressed or motion detected
- Two-way talk – speak to visitors through the Ring app
- Adjustable motion zones – only detect movement in certain areas
- Night vision – see up to 30 ft in black & white in the dark
- Alarm – can trigger a loud siren remotely from the app
It easily connects to your WiFi to enable receiving alerts and live video anywhere you have an internet connection.
Beyond the entryway, Ring offers outdoor cameras to monitor other areas:
- Spotlight Cam – wired or battery-powered HD camera with LED lights to illuminate motion
- Floodlight Cam – wired camera with ultra bright floodlights and 110 dB siren alarm
- Stick Up Cam – battery-powered cameras that can be placed anywhere
To cover inside the home, Ring offers two indoor cameras:
- Stick Up Cam Indoor – portable wired/battery camera for tables, shelves, etc.
- Ring Indoor Cam – compact wireless camera that plugs into an outlet
Both capture 1080p video with night vision, motion alerts, and two-way talk.
Alarm Security Kits
Ring now offers full home security systems beyond just cameras:
- Alarm kits – base station, keypad, contact sensors, motion detectors, range extender
- Alarm add-ons – smoke listener, flood/freeze sensor, panic alarm, CO listener
The system is DIY-installed with no tools required. Optional Ring Protect Plus monitoring starts at just $10 per month.
Ring‘s smart lighting adds accent lighting and security:
- Pathlights – solar-powered walkway lights
- Steplights – LED step lights with motion sensors
- Spotlights – solar-powered spotlights to highlight areas
The lighting interacts with the cameras and alarms for optimal coverage.
As you can see, Ring now offers a comprehensive suite of home security products since being acquired by Amazon. The combination of cameras, lighting, and alarm systems provides complete 360-degree property protection.
Amazon Installation Services for Ring
Installing Ring devices is designed to be user-friendly. But Amazon does offer professional installation for those who want an extra hand.
Through Amazon Home Services, customers can schedule installation of Ring products when checking out on Ring.com or in the app. Here are the key details:
- Starting price is $99 for installing one device
- $30 charge for each additional device installed
- Installer will mount, activate, connect to WiFi, and configure the Ring device
- Provides troubleshooting to get the device up and running
For do-it-yourselfers, Ring provides free access to detailed installation instructions and videos on their website. And Ring devices purchased on Amazon.com can be returned for free within 30 days of delivery if the DIY install doesn‘t work out.
Ring‘s Security System Performance
Now that Ring is under Amazon‘s wing, how good are their security products really? Here‘s my take on the pros and cons as an Amazon seller:
- Affordable pricing. Ring cameras and starter kits are very budget-friendly.
- Quick DIY installation. No tools or wiring expertise required.
- No contracts. Can cancel the optional monitoring subscription anytime.
- Ability to self-monitor for free via phone alerts.
- Seamless camera integration. Visual verification when alarms are triggered.
- No landline option. Must have WiFi for alarm to function properly.
- Cameras can have connectivity gaps. May miss motion if bandwidth is low.
- Motion sensing can be inconsistent at times.
- Very limited smart home integrations beyond Alexa.
Overall, Ring is a solid home security option given the low cost and flexibility. For tech-savvy homeowners who want simple, self-monitored protection, it hits the mark.
However, traditional security firms like ADT provide more robust professional monitoring and integration options that hardcore home security enthusiasts may prefer. But those come at a premium cost.
Ring‘s Market Dominance Post-Acquisition
Amazon knew Ring commanded an impressive share of the smart doorbell market. But just how dominant is Ring today after being scooped up by Amazon?
Let‘s look at some key stats that highlight Ring‘s growth since 2018:
- 61% video doorbell market share in 2016 prior to acquisition
- Est. 72% share of all video doorbell sales as of 2020
- Over 50% share of the global smart doorbell market today
- 300% increase in annual global device sales from 2018 to 2020
- 3-5 million estimated global users as of 2021
- Over $300 million in 2019 revenue compared to $60 million in 2016
And according to analysts, Ring currently accounts for roughly 75% of all video doorbell sales in America. That is staggering market penetration!
It‘s clear Amazon knew what they were doing by acquiring the undisputed leader in this booming product category. They took Ring‘s sales and distribution to the next level.
Inside Perspective as an Amazon Seller
As a successful Amazon FBA seller myself, I believe acquiring Ring was one of Amazon‘s smartest strategic moves in recent years. Here‘s my take on why this acquisition was a win:
Expanded Audience Reach
Ring instantly gave Amazon access to millions of new smart home customers that Amazon could market other devices and services to.
Even as a 3rd party seller, if you can create products that integrate with Ring, you‘ve got a huge target audience to sell to. Definitely an opportunity I‘m exploring!
Sets Amazon Up as THE Smart Home Brand
Between Alexa, Echo, Fire TV, Blink, Ring, and more, Amazon is building an unrivaled smart home ecosystem. The barrier to exit gets higher for customers with each new product line.
Ring strengthened the competitive moat around Amazon‘s connected home empire. Apple and Google are still playing catch-up in this space.
Drives High-Margin Recurring Revenue
Aside from device sales, Ring provides recurring revenue through optional subscription plans like Ring Protect and Protect Plus. This adds lucrative high-margin income.
Recurring subscriptions are like gold for any business. Amazon loves that Ring allows them to lock customers into an ongoing revenue stream.
Increased Order Volume Benefits All Sellers
When major product launches happen, it can drive a surge in overall order volume as buyers flock to Amazon. These new Ring customers place other orders, benefiting 3rd party sellers too.
Rising tides lift all boats. So major acquisitions like Ring that attract new buyers are a positive for Amazon‘s seller ecosystem.
I hope this post provided the full scoop on how Amazon came to dominate the home security camera space thanks to their savvy acquisition of Ring. Here are my key takeaways:
- Yes, Amazon owns Ring, having acquired them in 2018 for over $1 billion
- Ring began in 2013 as Doorbot until rebranding and attracting over $200 million in funding
- Amazon bought Ring to expand their smart home ecosystem and cameras
- Ring video doorbells and cameras provide easy-to-use security
- Ring now offers comprehensive alarm monitoring and lighting
- DIY installation is simple but Amazon offers professional install for Ring
- Ring controls over 50% of the global smart doorbell market
- Revenues and device sales have surged since Amazon‘s acquisition
- The purchase was strategically brilliant and a huge win for Amazon
As an experienced Amazon seller, I was thrilled to see Amazon expand into home security. The Ring acquisition shows the power of Amazon‘s empire.
They acquired a market leader and took it to even greater heights. That‘s the kind of move only a giant like Amazon can pull off. They leveraged their immense resources to cement Ring as the security brand for an entire product category.
It‘s moves like this that keep sellers like myself on our toes. Because when Amazon swings big, they have the power to transform entire industries overnight.