Smart thermostat startup Nest has closed on a round of $80 million, we’ve learned, and the funding was done at a post money valuation of $800 million. Google Ventures led the round, and Venrock participated as a new investor, according to our sources. Nest is currently listed on Venrock’s site.
The company has raised this round to continue its growth; it’s now shipping 40,000 to 50,000 of its learning thermostats per month. If the company’s growth continues at this current rate, Nest could reach a shipment rate of 1 million thermostats per year by the summer, say our sources. Note, that’s shipments, not sales, though the figures are clearly closely related.
Some of that growth is happening in Europe, in addition to its shipments in the U.S. Nest sells its thermostats through big-box retailers like Lowe’s and Best Buy, as well as through the online Apple store and its own online website. It’s also struck some initial partnerships with utilities like service provider Reliant. Updated: Nest clarified with me that it doesn’t officially sell its thermostats in Europe but is seeing growing interest from individual customers in Northern Europe who have bought the thermostat. The previous version of this article inaccurately implied larger growth in Europe.
Nest also plans to use the funds to offer a more comprehensive smart home service along with its product, which could include lighting and alarm systems, too, we’ve heard. I don’t know too many details about this, but will add more if I hear more.
We’ve reached out to Nest and are waiting to to hear back on these figures. Venrock investor Matthew Trevithick responded in an email and said “Nest doesn’t comment on funding.” Other investors that have backed Nest include Kleiner Perkins, Al Gore’s investment fund Generation Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures.
Nest previously raised tens of millions of dollars before this round. Earlier this month Nest announced that it had brought in a new CFO, Tom vonReichbauer, last at Tesla.
Nest only officially launched in late 2011, with a plan to sell its sleek learning thermostat designed by former Apple designer Tony Fadell, who developed multiple generations of the iPhone and the iPod. The thermostat, which costs $250, learns its owner’s behavior and uses smart algorithms to shave off 20 percent to 30 percent of energy used for heating and cooling. The team that built the learning algorithms included Yoky Matsuoka, the former head of innovation at Google, and Stanford Professor Sebastrian Thrun is an adviser to the company.
Nest launched the second generation of its thermostat a few months ago, which has a slimmer body and is compatible with 95 percent of heating and cooling systems in the U.S. They’re also now on version three of the software.
Nest’s growth is one of the few success stories to come out of the cleantech sector in awhile.
Updated at 11AM, April 10, 2013, to correct that while Nest is seeing interest from customers in Northern Europe, its thermostat is not officially on sale in Europe, and it’s not sending considerable shipments there. Nest didn’t disclose how many customers in Europe have bought its thermostat.