Channel technologies, Mergers and Acquisitions, Distributed Workforce

Avnet Acquires Hackster IoT Hardware Programming Community

Avnet CEO William Amelio
William Amelio

Avnet (NYSE: AVT) has acquired a majority interest in Hackster, an online community that helps users learn how to design, create and program Internet-connected hardware, the two companies confirmed this morning. The Hackster online community spans 200,000 engineers, hardware makers and hobbyists. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Avnet plans to acquire the remainder of Hackster in January 2017 -- essentially giving the distributor complete control of the community at that time. The buyout could allow Avnet to accelerate its shift from enterprise IT solutions toward electronic components and IoT (Internet of Things) opportunities. Avnet is in the process of selling its technology solutions business to Tech Data.

In a prepared statement, Avnet CEO William Amelio said:

“We are fully committed to helping start-ups bring their ideas to market. The addition of Hackster’s online platform will enable users to accelerate their hardware knowledge and time-to-market. The combination of with Avnet’s recently launched MakerSource resource directory and acquisition of Premier Farnell’s element 14 community will allow start-ups to design and create new ideas, then quickly find the resources to support them as they prepare to take their product to market.”

Ben Larralde and Adam Benzion founded to help people everywhere learn how to design, create and program Internet-connected hardware. Avnet did not say what roles, if any, the community co-founders would have at the distributor. In a prepared statement, Benzion hinted that he'd be joining the new ownership to accelerate the business.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.