Google’s Nest recently announced acquisition of Dropcam in a $555 million cash deal is more than just a classic Silicon Valley Cinderella story. The two developers of this popular improvement on the traditional webcam are Greg Duffy and Aamir Virani, veterans from Xonbi. Yahoo paid $30 million for Xonbi, an email inbox app in 2013, but the Dropcam deal is significantly bigger. Who would have thought that the Dropcam dream began with the misbehavior of a local dog?
Dropcam on Dog Patrol
Dropcam’s very humble origins began as an effort to assist Duffy’s father in determining which of the local dogs was leaving its manure on the family’s yard. He used several webcams in an effort to catch the culprit, but these webcams were difficult to coordinate, and he found it inconvenient to store the prodigious files on his hard drive. Duffy along with Virani came up with the idea to design a web camera that would be activated by motion and store video files in the cloud.
Seed Money from Kapor Capital Produces Dropcam’s Bumper Crop
Mitch Kapor of Kapor Capital provided the seed money for Duffy and Virani’s project which the two engineered and launched as Dropcam in 2009. Mitch Kapor is the founder of Lotus Capital, which produced game-changing technology that helped power the now historic personal computer phenomenon. From the initial investment, Dropcam was able to secure more funds and eventually created a half a billion dollar company. While Dropcam does not release information about its revenue, Dropcam is the best-selling security camera on Amazon and generates a large number of sales in Apple retail stores and in Best Buy. This is a huge leap from the early days, when Duffy and Virani had to package and ship every Dropcam they sold by hand.