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August 1, 2013 AT 6:24 am

Hot hardware: The smart money’s taking notice #makerbusiness

Nest Install Josh

Hot hardware: The smart money’s taking notice.

Call it a “back to the future” moment: hardware is hot.

After years of private tech investors favoring software startups, new hardware companies are attracting keen attention. Witness Wednesday’s $30 million investment in Webcam startup DropCam. Software still gets more buzz — and yes, more money — but in the last couple of years, more than $711 million was poured into hardware startups, according to a recent blog post by Renee Di DiResta, a principal at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.

It’s an uptick that correlates with the rise in smartphones, according to investors who say recent hits like Dropcam, Nest and Fitbit are just the tip of the iceberg.
“You have more and more people with computing and engineered devices in their pockets and on the go,” said Menlo Ventures Principal Sunil Raman, who sees the start of a tipping point for hardware. “It’s become a lot more interesting for hardware.”

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