Google has started agreements with Nest Labs, the developers of the smart smoke detector and thermostat, for a huge $3.2 billion. Nest was originally looking for more investment, but Google wanted a smart home business and not another startup investment.
Nest Labs is one of the few startups that has got the smart home products right, instead of the gimmicky smart fork and fridge that you can talk to, the Nest thermostat and smoke detector work and actually bring more use than a normal product.
Founded in Tony Fadell, ex-Apple employee who was one of the lead developers of the iPod, Nest Labs was created to make incredible products for the home. The startup made the service, software and hardware and had a controlled vision of how the product would work, similar to Apple.
Google has always been big fans of Nest Labs, ever since the two co-founders got a good look at the project at TED in 2011. Google Ventures has been an avid investor of Nest in seed funding and it looks like this time Google wanted to acquire instead of funding.
Nest will remain its own private entity, controlled and funded by Google. We are not sure how long this will last and if Google will start getting their hands in on the software and services, making sure they have a long term income flow.
Google’s acquisitions last year and this year look to be all about robots and smart devices. The $1 billion Waze acquisition was the big difference, but this has since been integrated into the Google Maps app and the team is still working on full integration.
Nest Labs future looks bright, many believe their next venture is into smart home security. Google looks poised to take over the home, with a whole range of automation tools for users, including self-driving cars.