Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest has very little to do with the state of Nest’s business this year. It is a bet on the next 10 years for Nest.
But, if you’re interested in how Nest is doing this year, Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt has an estimate. A year ago, Gigaom said Nest was selling 40,000-50,000 thermostats per month. Devitt estimates Nest is selling 100,000 thermostats per month now. At $US250 per unit, Devitt pegs annual revenue at $US300 million, which means Google paid 10X revenue.
Again, this isn’t about buying a company this year, it’s about the next 10 years. So this number, accurate, inaccurate, or whatever, is mostly just a little footnote. Bottom line, Nest was a fairly substantial startup as far as revenues go. We expect Nest to ramp those revenues significantly over time.
And while we’re here, let’s just note that this was a great acquisition for both companies.
Nest could have continued as an independent company, but it would need to keep raising bigger and bigger piles of cash. It needs money to hire a world class legal team because incumbent thermostat companies are suing it. It needs money to (maybe) build out a network of technicians to install and take care of Nest products in the home. It needs money to pay manufacturers. It needs money to build out its distribution.
With Google, it gets a nice spigot of cash to do all of that.
From Google’s perspective, it’s getting the leading company in home automation. The Nest thermostat and smoke/CO detector are just the beginning for the company. The goal is to connect everything over time. Feeding all those connected devices into Google’s suite of software and services is going to make it a pretty imposing company for the next decade if not longer.
Google is moving into every part of our lives, and Nest is going to be a key piece of that.
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