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Dropcam, Inc.
IndustryConsumer electronics
FateDissolved & Rebranded
SuccessorNest Cam
FoundedJanuary 2009 (2009-01)
FoundersGreg Duffy
Aamir Virani
United States
Area served
United States
ProductsDropcam Pro
Cloud Recording
Dropcam App
OwnerGoogle Inc (2014-2015)
Alphabet Inc. (2015-present)
ParentNest Labs (2014-present)

Dropcam, Inc. was an American technology company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company is known for its Wi-Fi video streaming cameras, Dropcam and Dropcam Pro, that allow people to view live feeds through Dropcam’s cloud-based service. On June 20, 2014, it was announced that Google's Nest Labs bought Dropcam for $555 million USD.[1][2] In June 2015, Nest introduced the Nest Cam[3], a successor to the Dropcam Pro.[4] Dropcam app users are also currently being transitioned to the Nest app.[5]


Software engineers Greg Duffy and Aamir Virani founded Dropcam in 2009.[6] Duffy served as Dropcam’s CEO and Virani served as COO.[7] They originally developed software for cameras made by Swedish company AXIS. Wanting to develop a less expensive camera, the two companies parted ways and Dropcam started producing its own cameras that primarily provided video monitoring for homes and small businesses.[8] Duffy and Virani credit Duffy’s dad with at least part of the inspiration for Dropcam.[9] He wanted to identify the neighbor who was letting their dog poop on his lawn but they were having trouble finding a security camera that made it easy to record, stream and monitor large amounts of data.[10][11]

Dropcam received early funding from technology investor Mitch Kapor,[12] and in June 2012, Dropcam secured $12 million in venture capital funding led by Menlo Ventures and previous investors, Accel Partners and Bay Partners.[13] Dropcam has also received funding from Felicis Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[14][15] The following year, it received $30 million more in funding led by Institutional Venture Partners, bringing the total raised to $47.8 million.[16][17] Duffy said Dropcam’s revenue grew 500 percent year over year.[16]

Dropcam hosts cloud data through Amazon Web Services[18] and Duffy says that Dropcam presently records more video than YouTube.[8][19]

Dropcam has become popular in families watching their children,[20] through monitoring pets at home, at pet stores[21] and in adoption centers. Users have also reportedly caught home-burglaries in progress.[22][23] Duffy has said, “Moms are using it to catch their babies' first steps when they're not around, checking that older kids have arrived home safely; contacting children who are ignoring their cell phones; and sharing footage from birthday parties.”[24]

Due to the success of Dropcam, several companies launched similar products and services in 2014 and 2015, such as SpotCam and simplicam.[25]

In June 2015, the parent company Nest has introduced Nest Cam as a successor to Dropcam Pro.[26]

Cloud Recording[edit]

Dropcam provides optional encrypted digital video recording through the cloud. The Cloud Recording service automatically saves video on a rolling basis, so users can review the past week or month of footage, depending on their plan. All users, with or without the service, can still view the live feed.[27] Dropcam allows users to download the video and create video clips while also allowing for the creation of a public stream. About 40% of Dropcam users sign up for the cloud service.[23]

As part of Dropcam's Cloud Recording service, markers are placed on a user's video timeline when motion or audio is detected, so a user may go back and view those specific events rather than watch the whole feed to search for notable activities.[27] Dropcam introduced a beta version of its Activity Recognition feature for Cloud Recording, which learns typical motion patterns in a user's video stream, allowing for customized motion alerts.[28]


  1. ^ Gannes, Liz. "Google's Nest Buys Dropcam for $555 Million". Re/code. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  2. ^ Lowensohn, Josh. "Nest buying video monitoring startup Dropcam for $555 million". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  3. ^ Linda, Reyes. "Nest made hq pet camera for outdoor using". Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Nest Cam". Nest.
  5. ^ "FAQs about moving from the Dropcam app to the Nest app". Nest.
  6. ^ Shontell, Alyson. "Red-Hot Startup Dropcam Will Kill The Old Fashioned Surveillance Camera". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  7. ^ "About". Dropcam. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b Hernandez, Daniela. "Software Is Still King. Hardware Is Just Along for the Ride". Wired. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  9. ^ Gannes, Liz. "The Story of Dropcam, a Little Hardware Start-Up With Its Head in the Cloud". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  10. ^ Martin, Scott. "Dropcam captures $30 million in funding". USAToday. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  11. ^ Popper, Ben. "This company just raised $30m to put cameras all over your house". The Verge. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  12. ^ Sloan, Paul. "How the cloud is revolutionizing gadgets". CNET. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  13. ^ Tam, Donna. "Dropcam sees $12 million in new funding, better software". CNET. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  14. ^ Deamicis, Carmel. "Despite Segway and Fisker, Kleiner Perkins keeps making hardware bets".
  15. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai. "Another Super Angel Levels Up: Aydin Senkut's Felicis Ventures Closes $70M". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  16. ^ a b Lara-Cinisomo, Vincent. "Silicon Valley VCs pump $30 million into WiFi video-camera firm Dropcam". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  17. ^ Martin, Scott. "Dropcam captures $30 million in funding". USA Today. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  18. ^ "AWS Case Study: Dropcam". Amazon Web Services. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Dropcam Records More Video Than Youtube: CEO". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  20. ^ Eaton, Kit. "Keep an Eye on Children, or Other Valuables". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  21. ^ Hardy, Quentin. "Webcams See All (Tortoise, Watch Your Back)". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  22. ^ Hills, Suzannah. "Woman on vacation helps foil burglary after catching thief in her home using phone app she bought to help keep an eye on her dog". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  23. ^ a b Kelly, Heather. "DIY home (and pet) surveillance from an app". CNN. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  24. ^ Wang, Jennifer. "How Three Business Broke Into the Mommy Market". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  25. ^ Newman, Jared. "This Dropcam alternative promises not to eat your bandwidth". TechHive. Retrieved 3 Apr 2016.
  26. ^ Nest Cam: Does It Replace Its Brother, DropCam Pro?
  27. ^ a b Griffith, Eric. "Dropcam Pro". PC Mag. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  28. ^ Truong, Alice. "Dropcam Eyes The Connected Home With The Launch Of A Bluetooth-Enabled Camera". Fast Company. Retrieved 2 June 2014.