Startup Smarthings is on a mission to make homes smarter — and now it has Samsung Electronics’ massive marketing budget behind it.

On Thursday, Samsung announced it plans to acquire SmartThings, a startup that builds apps for connected devices in the burgeoning Internet of Things industry. The young company will move into Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, yet it insisted it will operate independently.

“We’ll retain the brand and all the team,” said Alex Hawkinson, SmartThings CEO and founder. The company, now with a staff of 54, runs software that connects to some 8,000 apps tied to various devices.

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