The company was founded by Sergio Zappella and Arthur Schmed in 1981 as Sergio, Arthur e Compagnia.
In 1985 they launched the first completely automatic espresso machine for domestic use, called Superautomatica and in 1999 they bought the historic espresso brand of Gaggia.
In May 2009, the company board agreed to a purchase offer from Dutch manufacturer Philips, owner of the Senseo coffee system, subject to shareholder and bank approval.
Other relevant contributions to the technology used in espresso machines include the cappuccinatore (introduced in 1996) as well as the automatic brewing pressure adaption "SBS" (1999)  and most recently, the announcement of the bluetooth-enabled GranBaristo Avanti (2013).
The Saeco brand belongs to the Dutch electronics company Philips since July 2009.