Designed to fuel voice technology innovation in various sectors of the market, The Alexa Fund is Amazon’s primary gateway into the world of venture capitalism. Up to $100 million is designated for investment in companies that seek to improve the way people use and understand technology in their daily lives. Notable companies that The Alexa Fund has worked with in the past include PetNet (an app-enabled pet feeding assistant), Sutro (a smart pool monitor for water maintenance in homes), Mojio (technology for connected car solutions), and a dozen other innovative companies.
Now, with its biggest investment yet at $35 million, the Alexa Fund has agreed to pair with Ecobee, a company that produces a smart Wi-Fi thermostat. Ecobee is a Toronto-based company that was founded in 2007, and has worked with Amazon Echo in the past to develop its voice-recognition software for its product. It currently holds the position of the second-largest seller of Internet-connected thermostats in the US, and has been rising in worth in the market lately due to the recent failings of its main competitor, Google’s Nest.
So far, Ecobee has raised over $60 million in venture capital. With the recent investment, Ecobee has aims to refine its thermostat technology, as well as focusing on other home-management technologies that “make people’s lives simpler and better.”