Why Amazon Is Investing in Google’s Nest Rival Ecobee



Amazon ending the sale of Nest products

Amazon.com (AMZN) recently helped raise about $62 million for Ecobee in a series C funding round, according to CNBC. Amazon made the investment through its Amazon Alexa Fund. The investment in Ecobee was revealed roughly one week after Amazon paid an estimated $1.0 billion to acquire Ring, a video doorbell maker and a player in the smart home automation market.

Ecobee is a Canada-based startup that develops smart thermostats. Amazon’s investment in Ecobee comes at a time when the eCommerce giant is also said to be ending the sale of products from Nest, the Google (GOOGL) arm focused on developing products for smart homes. Nest competes with Ecobee in the smart thermostat market.

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Ecobee develops multiplatform products

Ecobee’s products are designed to work on a variety of platforms. For example, its devices can work with software and systems from companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung (SSNLF). Ecobee’s newest thermostat, known as Ecobee 4, is enabled for voice-controls through Amazon’s Alexa digital agent.

In addition to regulating temperatures, the Ecobee 4 performs other functions such as providing news and weather updates. Amazon’s Echo smart speakers can also be used to query weather conditions or check Twitter updates.

Ecobee sells its products through retailers such as Best Buy (BBY), Home Depot (HD), and Lowe’s (LOW). Ecobee intends to use the newly raised capital to expand into more smart home categories.

Battling Google for nearly $80 billion in revenues in home automation

Amazon’s investment in Ecobee seems to be a part of its efforts to step up competition with Google for revenues in the home automation market. According to MarketsandMarkets, the worldwide market for home automation systems will expand to $79.6 billion by 2022, up from $39.9 billion in 2016.


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