January 13, 2014
Google could be coming to a home near you soon with its $3.2 billion buyout of smart sensor startup Nest Labs.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) revealed Monday afternoon that it will pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, a Californian startup that sells a $249 WiFi-enabled "smart thermostat" and has just introduced a smoke detector. The deal is expected to close within a few months.
Nest already has ties to the search giant: Google's venture arm has been a key investor in the startup. Nest has raised $230 million in funding since its foundation in 2010. (See The Best-Funded Mobile Startups of 2013.)
Nest was founded by CEO Tony Fadell and VP of engineering Matt Rodgers. These Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) alumni led the team that created earlier generations of iPhones and iPods and developed the iPod software, respectively.
The Nest buyout -- along with Google's efforts on driverless cars -- appears to indicate that the company isn't ready to cede the home automation and monitoring market to carriers like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) or the cable MSOs yet. In fact, the dashboard and the breakfast bar are becoming the new frontiers for a slew of mobile and technology companies. (See AT&T Clinches M2M Market Lead With GE Deal, Betting on Smart Homes, and CTIA: Digital Life Pays Off for AT&T.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading
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