Google on Monday disclosed its first major acquisition of 2014, announcing it has purchased Nest, a startup that sells connected home products, for $3.2 billion in cash.
Nest was co-founded by Tony Fadell, one of the people who led Apple’s creation of the iPod in the early 2000s. Nest has been around for a few years and sells a smart thermostat and a smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that users can control using apps on their smartphones.
Nest is “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. “We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!”
Nest’s co-founders said they decided to join Google because it will help grow their business much faster than they could have on their own.
“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,” Fadell said in a statement.
Google said Fadell will remain the top executive at Nest, which will retain its brand identity and continue to sell its products.
The acquisition of Nest indicates Google may have big plans for the connected-home market. The idea behind the connected home is users can control any of their home’s appliances, such as their refrigerator or their vacuum, using apps on their smartphone.
At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, connected-home products played a big role, with companies announcing all kinds of smart devices, including a line of LG appliances and an Internet-connected smart toothbrush.