RealTime IT News

Whirlpool Invests in zBox

Acquiring an equity stake through an investment and a continued alliance, Whirlpool Corp. has announced that it has invested in "smart" appliance company zBox.

In addition, Robert M. Cunningham, Vice President, Product Delivery, Whirlpool North America, has joined zBox's Board of Directors.

zBox Company's flagship product is the zBox - an Internet-enabled, "smart" delivery appliance installed at a consumer's residence and used for receiving, shipping, and returning packages when nobody is home.

The Company completed alpha and beta trials with the U.S. Postal Service and other shippers in the San Francisco Bay Area in the third quarter of 2000.

"We are delighted to have Whirlpool elevate their involvement with zBox Company by investing in our Series C financing and extending our Cooperative Alliance," said Tina Shah, CEO, zBox. "Our Cooperative Alliance has been a great success, and we appreciate Whirlpool's continued commitment to our Company. Based on extensive research and their own Integrated Home Solutions Initiative, they have a clear understanding of the market potential for smart, Internet-enabled appliances."

Whirlpool's Integrated Home Solutions Initiative includes the development of a wide variety of new products and enhanced services including a new generation of Whirlpool and KitchenAid brand appliances that are linked to the Internet and offer new levels of innovation, functionality, and convenience.

"zBox is the clear leader in its space, and we decided to enter into a Cooperative Alliance with zBox last year after our independent research revealed a significant consumer need and market opportunity to facilitate package deliveries and outbound shipments with various delivery appliances that help time starved consumers," said Cunningham.