A new report has revealed how Apple CEO Tim Cook came to invest in the eco-friendly shower Nebia after using one at his local gym.
According to a Bloomberg report, Cook tried a prototype of the Nebia shower at his local gym in Palo Alto, California, and was impressed. Apparently, Cook was drawn to the environmental potential of Nebia, which uses significantly less water when showering thanks to atomization.
Nebia founder Philip Winter originally convinced local gyms to run pilot tests, asking gym users for feedback on their experience:
Philip Winter, who helped create the Nebia shower head, recalls moving to San Francisco in 2014 to get his idea off the ground. The shower head sprays in a way that uses less water, but still keeps people warm. Crafted from materials including aluminum, the system looks like something Apple might design, if it made bathroom hardware. To develop the product, Winter persuaded gyms in Silicon Valley to run pilot tests. After installing the shower head early in the morning, he’d wait outside locker rooms to get feedback. That’s when he met Cook, who happened to use an early version at the gym in Palo Alto, California, where the Apple chief executive officer worked out most mornings.
Winter states that Cook made a “significant” investment in the startup, five years ago and in later financing rounds.
Along with Tim Cook, the company also counts a number of other big names among its list of investors including FitBit CEO James Park, and Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia. The company also announced a partnership with Moen last year. However, Tim Cook’s involvement appears to have been particularly helpful, with Bloomberg reporting that the CEO was happy to personally provide advice to the company in “long, well crafted, and detailed” emails.
In 2015, the company’s first Kickstarter, for Nebia 1.0, raised a whopping $3,126,114 USD from 8,559 backers. Last year, its second campaign, for 2.0, garnered more than $1.9 million USD from 4,640 backers. By comparison, the average successful campaign on the creative invention fundraising site secures about $23,000 USD from roughly 100 backers.
Today, Nebia’s founders launched their third Kickstarter to fund their newest project, a showerhead co-designed by Moen priced at $160 USD. “When we started Nebia five years ago, this is the product we envisioned,” reads the product description. “A powerful and enveloping shower experience that sets a new standard for water savings. We believe a great shower should come with no compromise. For the past year, we have been working side-by-side with the Moen team to make our most advanced shower yet.”
Nebia 2.0, their luxury model, is still available on their website, though it’s currently on backorder.