Nest competitor Zstat launches crowdfunding for wireless thermostat – 1/30/2014

Zstat, a Cambridge-based wireless thermostat startup that bills itself as a cheaper alternative to the thermostat made by Nest Labs, on Wednesday launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $125,000.

Zstat’s main thermostat product retails for $75 and allows users to change the temperature and set a temperature schedule remotely with wireless and Bluetooth technology. The average homeowner can save between $40 and $400 annually by using Zstat, according to the company’s website.

The thermostat connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy technology. It is low-power and doesn’t have a liquid-crystal display (LCD), making it cheaper than Nest’s product, according to CEO and co-founder Christian von Stackelberg.

“You lose the LCD screen with my product, but you gain a major advantage with lower power, so it doesn’t need to recharge as often and it won’t has as many problems,” von Stackelberg said.

California-based Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google Inc. earlier this month for $3.2 billion, sells its Nest Learning Thermostat for $249.

The Zstat aims to give users a faster return on investment because it’s cheaper, von Stackelberg said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the company had raised nearly $1,000 from seven backers on the crowdfunding campaign, which uses the Crowdhoster platform, with 17 days left in the round. If Zstat raises the $125,000, the thermostat will begin shipping to backers in July, von Stackelberg said.

Zstat is currently run by von Stackelberg, who is a hardware developer, along with co-founder and sales and marketing professional Sam Chandler.

The Zstat also sells a stainless steel wireless and Bluetooth-enabled thermostat for $175.

[Sara Castellanos, from]


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