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Summary:

Learning thermostat maker Nest has closed on $80 million to keep growing, and we’ve heard it’s shipping 40K to 50K thermostats per month. The round was raised at an $800 million valuation and the company could reach a million per year shipment rate by the Summer.

The Nest thermostat.

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's Tony Fadell at GigaOM RoadMapNest 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.

  1. Katie, you write that “A considerable amount of that growth is happening in Europe.”
    Do you have any figures on that? In which European countries is the growth biggest?
    And how can that actually be when as far as I know the Nest thermostat is not configured to work in Europe? You need some hacking skills to make it work there, as far as I have understood, ref http://motote.blogspot.com.es/2012/09/nest-thermostat-in-europe-hacks-ii.html and http://motote.blogspot.com.es/2012/11/nest-hack-in-openwrt.html.

    Thanks,
    Yngvar, European

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  2. @yngjoh, I’ll look into it more and get back to you on that.

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    1. @yngjoh There is a solution for Europe. I am a tado° customer myself, it works just great! http://gigaom.com/2012/11/14/tado-aims-to-be-a-smarter-thermostat-than-nest/

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  3. As a utility manager this device has (or appears to have) significant implications for any organization that wants to promote savings and mitigation of energy waste…. As well as tailor their energy distribution to particular consumers…

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  4. I’ve got the Philips Hue and could definitely see the next Nest product being centered around lighting. Unlike the Nest Thermostat pretty much everyone could be your customer. I quickly found out the line-voltage thermostat system used in my apt wasn’t at all Nest compatible. The market for Thermo only will inevitably shrink but expanding out into lighting and perhaps door security and surveillance are areas of opportunity.

    The one thing i’m getting from consumers though is “no monthly fees” they want user installable products.

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    1. Nest 2 happens to support my home – and my wiring does not have the “C” wire – this is the one provides power. It is amazing to see that Nest function at my home – they have an interesting low power design to allow that.

      Also note that Nest 1 or 2 – both have Zigbee Controllers – and sooner or later can be supported to integrate and control the Philips Hue. In theory they can be – not sure it would actually happen though.

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  5. Hi Katie,
    There is also an irish company called climote (remote heating/cooling control) that is fully certified to work with mains 220v powered heating systems in europe & the UAE. They are rolling out their product through utilities in ireland and UK and further a field. As can be seen from the link they have partnered with the largest utility in Ireland who are deploying their product. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7Mrz-2sgCg

    Regards Derek Roddy

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  6. Comcast is offering remote control of heat, lights and alarm systems, now.

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  7. @ Katie: Hi there, did you find an Answer to that Europe question? Would be really interesting to know some details. Best Max

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    1. @Max Mllr, Yes, sorry for the delay. The original article overstated europe shipments. They have customers there but it’s not officially on sale there. Nest wouldn’t tell me how many people are using the thermostat in Europe.

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  8. Hi Max,
    IRISH company CLIMOTE launched a similar product to NEST in the European market and is already picking up national awards for their intuitive design and approach to remotely controlling the device. Their proposition is a fully integrated 3 zone controller with built in thermostat, GSM communication, and a full user interface on the device should you decide not to use the remote control. It is fully certified CE approved 220v controller that connects directly to your boiler

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  9. Climote doesn’t have auto-sensing of motion, nor does it allow different temperature settings for chosen time periods – if you set the stat to heat the house until e.g. 18c, then this temp applies to any point when the heating is on. As such, if you want the house to be 18c when people are up out of bed, then 16c overnight, it won’t do it. Bit of a shortcoming I feel, though seemingly nobody else they asked wanted this feature. Climote also has no learning but does have SMS/web-based control even though there’s a £30 per annum fee for this as it uses GSM, not Wi-Fi.

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  10. usingnestineurope Thursday, April 18, 2013

    winter is over (I hope) here in France (I am on natural gas system),
    and I have been using Nest for nearly 4month,
    it is too soon to reach any conclusion, but I am convinced that in a year from now I will
    have saved significant amount of dollar (euh, Euros).

    one frustrating fact, to me , is that the learning schedule feature is messed up by virtue of the EU time zone not being supported and frankly speaking I Am not in the hacking spirit, nor am I ready to share some of my ‘nest access’ with some of the companies that are offering services supposedly “making nest work fully” in EU (time zone, weather etc).

    I Will in the coming week or so post my first 3 month of “winter” gas consumption… if this means anything to anyone. I do like the no-ties / no-contract and I am convinced more useful products will come out of this company!

    http://usingnestthermostatineurope.wordpress.com/

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