The folks behind Nebia — the tech showerhead startup backed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and a host of other big names — have sold to Mark Cuban’s Brondelwho makes bidets, air purifiers and the like.
The name Nebia and the water-saving sprinklers are live on Following the deal, co-founders Philip Winter and Gabriel Parisi-Amon said in a conversation with australiabusinessblog.com. Despite my prodding, the pair declined to say what paid Brondell to pick up the brand, which launched ages ago (in 2015) on Kickstarter. If you know the terms of the deal, wouldn’t it be cool if you give me something?
Along with Cook and a bevy of early Kickstarter backers, Nebia raised money at the family office of former Google boss Eric Schmidt, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, Fitbit co-founder James Park, Y-Combinator, Stanford – should I to proceed?
Nebia stood out when it launched with expensive spray heads that showered users with a fine, hurricane mist, while saving up to 70% of the water a typical shower head spews out in the process, the startup claimed. This proved polarizing; Nebia’s exuberant storm prevailed against yours truly, but divided a newsroom with his unconventional take on a beloved ritual. Over the years, Nebia scaled things down to win more customers, reducing projected water savings to about 50%.
During its time as an independent company, Nebia estimated that its customers saved more “500 million gallons of water” as well as the “equivalent of more than 27 million kWh (27 GWh) of energy.” The company said the energy savings were “roughly equivalent to the annual energy use of 2,700 U.S. homes.” Winter told australiabusinessblog.com that Nebia’s products, including those it made with Moen, have reached more than 100,000 homes.
“I am now working on future products [at Brondell]’ said Parisi-Amon – ‘the ones that are directly related to what we’ve made before, and the ones that are completely different, but still able to apply the materials we’ve worked on and the analysis we’ve worked on.
Winter and the rest of Nebia’s 15-person team also joined Brondell, the co-founders said.
Both executives emphasized that they are still committed to helping people conserve water – a critical task if climate change leads to drought.
“That’s why we started and that’s why I left Apple at the time,” Parisi-Amon said. “I wanted to use my mechanical engineering degree to create a product that literally anyone could trade for what they had, and that was better for the environment,” Parisi-Amon added. “And that work is not done.”
Winter said as much as our conversation ended earlier this week. “As the population grows and we use more water per capita, and we have more frequent periods of drought and more acute droughts, the equation is not very positive,” Winter said. “We need to figure out ways to use water more effectively.”