Nest to grow Boulder presence separate from new Google campus

BOULDER — The Boulder presence of Google — or rather parent company Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) — won’t be confined just to Google’s new campus when it opens near the corner of 30th and Pearl streets next year.

Alphabet company Nest, which shares space in Boulder with Google now, will remain in its current spot upon Google’s move, and grow its own identity within the city, Google and Nest officials confirmed this week.

Nest signage is already in place at 2525 28th St., one of four buildings in town where Google has space. Google’s presence, including Nest, has grown over the past 10 years to about 400 people.

It’s unclear how many of those are Nest employees. Officials for Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nest did not grant an interview request, and a Nest spokesperson would say only that the company had 1,100-plus employees in all.

Founded in 2010, Nest makes smart-home devices like thermostats, cameras and smoke alarms, and its mobile app is compatible with a broad range of other smart devices that includes everything from sprinkler systems to lighting to large appliances.

Acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in early 2014, Nest gained its first presence in Boulder in the fall of that year when it acquired local startup Revolv Inc., which made a hardware hub and accompanying mobile app that could sync up various smart-home devices. Nest did not continue sales of the hub, and the acquisition at the time was more about acquiring Revolv’s talent and expertise rather than its product.

Co-founded as MobiPlug Networks Inc., by Mike Soucie, Lee Taylor and Jeff Matthews, Revolv was a 2012 graduate of Techstars and had raised a $4 million round of funding in late 2013 that was led by Foundry Group and American Family Insurance. It had employed 18 people at the time of the funding round but had been prepping to scale up with the new cash.

Alphabet was created last year as a holding company for Google and several other companies previously owned by Google, in part, to give the individual firms a chance to grow their own identities and brands independent of Google.

“The current plan is for Nest to stay in its existing location when Google moves to its new campus,” local Google spokesman Curtis Hubbard said.  “Consistent with the Alphabet structure, Nest will operate independently.”

Nest officials, in an emailed statement, wrote, “Nest is focused on creating a home that takes care of the people in it and the world around it. We began this journey in Palo Alto, California, in 2010 and have since then expanded our presence in terms of offices and product availability. Boulder is a hotbed of talent and we’re excited to continue building a presence there.”

Google Boulder threw a party on Thursday in honor of its 10th anniversary in Boulder. In line with the Revolv acquisition, Google’s, and now Alphabet’s, presence in Boulder has been very much about buying local startups. Google’s first local foothold came with its acquisition of SketchUp in 2006, a company that was eventually divested in 2012.