Google Welcomes Nest Home

Pays $3.2b for smart thermostat maker

Google is spending $3.2 billion to buy Nest, the hardware for the home technology startup.

The acquisition is Google’s second-most expensive purchase after its 2012 deal to buy Motorola for $12.5 billion. Nest was founded in 2010, and develops smart thermostats and smoke detectors in a growing category of connected devices.

“They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now—thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe,” Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement today. “We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries.”

Google is paying cash for Nest. The price tag is more than the $3.1 billion it paid for DoubleClick and more than the $1.65 billion for YouTube. Last year, Google spent nearly $1 billion for the social mapping startup Waze.

Nest devices connect online for software upgrades, and they can be controlled remotely. The apps also are available to Apple users, who would likely still have access to the technology despite the purchase by rival Google.

“Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone,” Nest CEO Tony Fadell said in a blog post today. “We’ve had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship.”

Google Ventures led fundraising rounds for Nest in 2011 and 2012.

“I know that joining Google will be an easy transition because we’re partnering with a company that gets what we do and who we are at Nest—and wants us to stay that way,” Fadell said.