Google has just signed a $ 3.2 billion agreement to acquire Nest Labs. An important further engagement in the home automation business and in pioneering the so called “Internet of things” the tech revolution that’s turning our everyday objects into a network of connected and smart devices. The business potential is impressive. The scenario of the startup leading the innovation in the “thingernet” industry is rich and enthusiastic, as we’ve seen getting through the home automation market, the new outsiders and in the last interview to the founders of one of the most interesting European startups.
Nest Labs launched a smart thermostat in 2011, turning an unloved traditional device into a smart self-learning device, with a sexy design and a cutting edge software providing great features, huge energy saving results and an impressive user friendliness. After the interesting funding secured in the several financing rounds for the US startups, Nest obtained a growing positive feedback from the user community, the tech magazines, and many commentators, leading to the laungh of the brand new Nest smoke detector. A smart move leading to the high potential contract market, where the specifications of structured turnkey projects in hospitality, corporate and residential segments are decided by top US architecture firms globally.
Tony Fadell, Nest Labs CEO, has already had a huge influence in the tech revolution creating the iPod by Apple that reshaped completely the way we listen and purchase music, opening unlimited business horizons in a market where the to players were quite cautious approaching the internet technologies.
The first two big issues at Nest will be the software improvement (the app and the system have already divided the audience into haters/lovers) and the legal fight on the patent infringement allegations (started by traditional companies like Honeywell that are losing their established market share). Both the challenges will be properly met, resources aren’t missing at all. And the Nest guys will be also able to answer to the dozens questions popping up in these hours regarding the future of the brand identity and the product policies adopted by the company until now.
Meanwhile, to understand the startup environment, it’s not less interesting a quick glance to the impressive revenue of some venture capital funds that invested in this startup during the several funding rounds.
The home automation scenario is even wider and, in my opinion, it’s a smart move to invest in startups that are developing integration system that connect different devices through different protocols. Companies we’ve mentioned in the latest posts that are developing centralized hub very easy to use (like Revolv) or remote intelligence solutions (like ThinkEco and others) achieving good results in energy saving performance. The development opportunities are many, especially in the contract market, meeting the growing need of “personalized hotel experience” or “tailor made solutions in community and corporate projects” many designers and architects are talking about.
Very soon we’ll meet also European startups leading the innovation providing cutting edge solutions with enthusiastic ideas! Stay tuned…on startup look-up!