The biggest name on the Web is carving out a small sliver of the home improvement space.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google agreed to pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest Labs, which makes high-end thermostats and smoke alarms.
Since its launch in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat has received strong reviews in various outlets, and so has the company’s new Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The new alarm uses a recorded human voice to indicate low battery and other signals, as opposed to annoying beeps.
According to Nest, its mission is to “reinvent unloved but important devices in the home such as thermostats and smoke alarms.”
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. 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. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams.”
Nest will continue to operate under the leadership of Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity. Fadell is credited with helping Apple design both the iPod and the iPhone before founding Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nest in 2010.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the United States. It is expected to close in the next few months.
Fadell, CEO of Nest, said: “We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world."