Nest is now part of Google, again

Smart home manufacturer Nest is being taken under the wing of Google – and not for the first time. 

[Note: Since the news broke of Nest rejoining Google there's been a pretty significant team change, and we've updated this story to reflect that development]

Nest was originally taken on by Google four years ago after being purchased for $3.2 billion, but split off from Google and became a property of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Now it’s back in the fold, and all indications point towards a greater integration of Google’s voice assistant, Google Assistant. 

Sales figures are good

It’s always been a little strange that Google and Nest were two Alphabet companies making smart home products independent of each other, and rumors have been circulating for a while now that this move was on the cards.

Nest is most famous for its smart thermostats Learning and E, and its top-of-the-range security cameras Cam IQ and Cam Outdoor. It'll be interesting to see if the design language of the Nest range changes to fall more in line with the other hardware from Google.

Google’s smart home range is, for now at least, limited to its smart speakers, the Home, Mini and Max. It appears to be a success, however, with Google claiming that it’s “sold tens of millions of products for the home in just the last year”.

That quote comes from the Google blog post penned by Nest CEO Rick Osterloh to announce the organizational change. Also included were some interesting claims about Nest’s sales figures: “The company doubled its hardware portfolio last year – selling more devices in 2017 than the previous two years combined.”

An interesting development is that since the news of the reabsorption broke, Matt Rogers, one of Nest's co-founders has announced that he's leaving the company. 

With other co-founder Tony Fadell (known to some as "one of the fathers of the iPod") leaving the company in 2016, this means that Nest is now without either of it's original creators.

We’ve yet to find out if Nest products will be rebranded as Google, or what other changes we’re likely to see. The only thing we do know is that Google is doing its best to become the dominant force in the smart home market.

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.