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Dropcam, Inc.
IndustryConsumer electronics
FoundedJanuary 2009 (2009-01)
FoundersGreg Duffy
Aamir Virani
FateAcquired by Google / Nest, rebranded as Nest Cameras
SuccessorNest Cam
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.[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] 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]

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.[26] 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.[26] 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.[27]


  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. ^ a b 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?
  26. ^ a b Griffith, Eric. "Dropcam Pro". PC Mag. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  27. ^ Truong, Alice. "Dropcam Eyes The Connected Home With The Launch Of A Bluetooth-Enabled Camera". Fast Company. Retrieved 2 June 2014.