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Dropcam, Inc.
IndustryConsumer electronics
FateDissolved & Rebranded
SuccessorNest Cam
FoundedSan Francisco, California, United States (January 2009 (2009-01))
Area served
United States
ProductsDropcam Pro
Cloud Recording
Dropcam App
OwnerIndependent (2009-2014)
Nest Labs (2014-present)
ParentIndependent (2009-2014)
Google Inc (2014-2015)
Alphabet Inc. (2015-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, a successor to the Dropcam Pro.[3] Dropcam app users are also currently being transitioned to the Nest app.[4]


Software engineers Greg Duffy and Aamir Virani founded Dropcam in 2009.[5] Duffy served as Dropcam’s CEO and Virani served as COO.[6] 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.[7] Duffy and Virani credit Duffy’s dad with at least part of the inspiration for Dropcam.[8] 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.[9][10]

Dropcam received early funding from technology investor Mitch Kapor,[11] and in June 2012, Dropcam secured $12 million in venture capital funding led by Menlo Ventures and previous investors, Accel Partners and Bay Partners.[12] Dropcam has also received funding from Felicis Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[13][14] The following year, it received $30 million more in funding led by Institutional Venture Partners, bringing the total raised to $47.8 million.[15][16] Duffy said Dropcam’s revenue grew 500 percent year over year.[15]

Dropcam hosts cloud data through Amazon Web Services[17] and Duffy says that Dropcam presently records more video than YouTube.[7][18]

Dropcam has become popular in families watching their children,[19] through monitoring pets at home, at pet stores[20] and in adoption centers. Users have also reportedly caught home-burglaries in progress.[21][22] 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.”[23]

Due to the success of Dropcam, several companies launched similar products and services in 2014 and 2015, such as SpotCam and simplicam.[24]

In June 2015, the parent company Nest has introduced Nest Cam as a successor to Dropcam Pro.[25]


Dropcam provides free live streaming video which is accessible through a web app and mobile apps for iOS and Android.[26][27] Dropcam sends encrypted data to the cloud, which then securely streams the video.[28] Video streams are private by default, but users can make their video streams public as well.

Dropcam currently offers two video monitoring camera models, the Dropcam and Dropcam Pro. Both models offer two-way audio, night vision, motion and sound detection, scheduling and location awareness capabilities. The standard Dropcam model offers 4x zoom capability and a 107-degree field of view.[29]

In October 2013, Dropcam released a new version of its camera, the Dropcam Pro, which offers 8x zoom capability, an all-glass lens with an image sensor that is 2x larger than the one used in the standard Dropcam model and a widened 130-degree field of view.[19] The Dropcam Pro also has a Bluetooth LE feature that allows users to set up the camera using an iOS device and select Android devices.[19][22]

Dropcam sells its products online through its website and through other retailers.[30] It is the top-selling security and surveillance product on Amazon.com,[31] and has been made available in Apple retail stores, Target and Verizon.[32] It has also been made available in Canada.[33]

In May 2014, Dropcam announced Dropcam Tabs, a wireless movement sensor,[34] but product pre-orders were canceled in summer 2014 after Dropcam was acquired by Nest.[35]

In June 2014, Dropcam was acquired by Nest Labs and in September, Dropcam joined the Works with Nest program. When the Nest Protect alarm goes off, Dropcam records a clip of the smoke or carbon monoxide event and saves it, regardless of whether the customer pays for Cloud Recording.[36] Additionally, Dropcam will automatically turn on motion alerts based on the Nest Thermostat being set to "Away."[37]

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.[38] 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.[22]

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.[38] 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.[29]


  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. ^ "Nest Cam". Nest.
  4. ^ "FAQs about moving from the Dropcam app to the Nest app". Nest.
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  6. ^ "About". Dropcam. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
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  14. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai. "Another Super Angel Levels Up: Aydin Senkut's Felicis Ventures Closes $70M". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  15. ^ a b Lara-Cinisomo, Vincent. "Silicon Valley VCs pump $30 million into WiFi video-camera firm Dropcam". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  16. ^ Martin, Scott. "Dropcam captures $30 million in funding". USA Today. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  17. ^ "AWS Case Study: Dropcam". Amazon Web Services. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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  19. ^ a b c Eaton, Kit. "Keep an Eye on Children, or Other Valuables". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  20. ^ Hardy, Quentin. "Webcams See All (Tortoise, Watch Your Back)". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ a b c Kelly, Heather. "DIY home (and pet) surveillance from an app". CNN. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  23. ^ Wang, Jennifer. "How Three Business Broke Into the Mommy Market". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  24. ^ Newman, Jared. "This Dropcam alternative promises not to eat your bandwidth". TechHive. Retrieved 3 Apr 2016.
  25. ^ Nest Cam: Does It Replace Its Brother, DropCam Pro?
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  31. ^ Klug, Brian. "Dropcam Pro Targets Improved Video Quality, Includes Connected Home Play". AnAndTech. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  32. ^ Deamicis, Carmel. "Apple could be the hub seller of the connected home, starting today by stocking Dropcam in stores". Pando Daily. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  33. ^ Cacho, Maurice. "Dropcam video monitoring camera; no tools, no programming, no fuss". CTV News. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  34. ^ Warren, Christina. "Wi-Fi Camera Dropcam Can Now 'See' Humans". Mashable. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  35. ^ "Dropcam Tabs Put on Hold, Pre-orders Canceled, as the Company Begins Work With Nest | Droid Life". Droid Life. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  36. ^ Wollerton, Megan. "Dropcam and Nest products now work together in perfect harmony". CNet. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  37. ^ Buckingham, Alan. "Nest grows its home automation integration, Dropcam now in use". Beta News. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
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