Impinj CEO Chris Diorio. (GeekWire photo)
Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion is sending far-reaching ripples across Wall Street, well beyond the grocery industry, affecting other Seattle tech companies.
Impinj, a Seattle-based maker of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that connect items to the internet, has seen its stock rise this morning on news of the deal. Its stock opened at an all-time high Friday and it has continued to rise throughout the morning, up more than 13 percent on the day.
Why does a huge Amazon retail deal have an impact on Impinj? It starts with a connection between the two companies. Amazon is a member of RAIN RFID, an alliance co-founded by Impinj in 2014 to spread awareness of RFID technology, which can be used to better keep track of inventory in retail environments. Further cementing the relationship, Amazon and Impinj are co-hosting a meeting of this group in Seattle next month.
Many observers are assuming technology upgrades could be on the way at Whole Foods stores following Amazon’s acquisition. There is speculation that a company like Impinj could bring its RFID technology to Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores.
Impinj declined to comment.
Impinj has gotten a bump from Amazon’s retail ambitions before. When Amazon announced the checkout-free Amazon Go concept, patent filings indicated RFID technology could be a part of the technology offerings in the store. Amazon later said RFID would not be a part of Amazon Go.