Covering the latest technology in the world, and the investment economy around it, doesn’t normally involve stripping off naked in an office. But that’s exactly what journalists researching why the Nebia 2.0, a next generation shower head, is wowing tech investors in Silicon Valley and beyond are being invited to do.
Quickly tackling the presumption that the hype around a pricey shower head (£400) is just that, the start-up behind the Nebia 2.0, also called Nebia, invites as many journalists and anyone else interested in their product as possible to try it out. And of course, the only way to do so is to strip off and take a shower.
The approach seems to work and has led to numerous gushing reviews and early-stage investment in the company from an impressive list of tech sector luminaries. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Eric Schmidt, the longstanding Google chairman, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia and Fitbit chief executive James Park have all invested in Nebia. A clue to why the Nebia has proven so popular with high profile technology investors can be found in the fact the shower head uses around 65% less water than a traditional shower. Patented technology, hugely positive consumer feedback and the added bonus of promoting sustainability is a good combination.
The Nebia uses so much less water than a standard shower by employing ‘atomisation’. Water atomisation basically means breaking streams up into millions of tiny droplets. The result is an enveloping mist warm and wet enough to do the job of much more water delivered through standard water streams while giving the user a ‘spa-like’ experience.
Nebia’s shower head uses a combination of nozzles that mix spray types, angles, droplet sizes and velocities. Five of those nozzle-types are patented. Presumably why Nebia have so successfully attracted investors. The company raised $3.1 million through an initial Kickstarter campaign and another $1.5 million has been raised by an ongoing campaign to fund the launch of the 2.0 model. If there is any scepticism to be cast over the A-list investors backing the Nebia it is that it has to be supposed relatively modest sums have been injected, given the Kickstarter campaigns.
Alternatively, the company’s management is very cleverly leveraging big name investors to raise investor cash without giving away too much equity at this stage. Protecting the interests of both the start-up’s co-founders and early investors. But back to the product itself and the innovative technology behind it. Nebia is not the first company to develop liquid atomisation. It’s used in plenty of other technologies from the injection of rocket fuel to the spraying of pesticides in agriculture.
Nebia isn’t even the first company to try it as shower head technology. It’s just that previous attempts haven’t been very good. The added complication of a shower using water atomisation to make water go farther is that tiny droplets of water lose heat very quickly. By the time they’ve travelled from the shower head to the bather’s skin, they haven’t been hot enough to provide the hot shower consumers demand. Nebia’s patented nozzles and the wider system employed by the shower head described earlier has managed to overcome that issue and offer the same heat as a standard shower would.