Investment in promising startups is one of the newer trends, one that tech giants are seemingly interested in since the last decade. Larger corporations including Google, Amazon, and Facebook are offering Startup Accelerator Programs in which startups can register and showcase their potential as a consumer service or other niche. If the startup idea is recognized as a promising investment, they are funded by these corporations accordingly.
Like other tech giants, Amazon is not new to the investment game, and has been funding startups since the previous decade through the Alexa Fund. Amazon has invested in all kinds of startups, ranging from Fin-tech to online education platforms to healthcare startups, it found promising. Although not all, below is the list of top startups that Amazon has funded, in different domains, and the rounds they were funded in and the investment amount.
Blutag is a startup in the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, and aims to develop voice shopping and integrate it with brands. Blutag has raised $1.5 million in 2 funding rounds, with Alexa Fund participating in the seed round. While it allows natural language conversation between users and the voice assistant, Blutag also helps sellers enhance sales through simple voice searches. It even makes personalized recommendations through AI, and creates an overall better and more convenient shopping experience.
Fiddler offers an explainable AI platform and helps you deploy robust AI solutions. Fiddler has recently secured a strategic investment from Alexa Fund, and is looking to expand its horizons and advance actionable AI insights to help businesses. Fiddler helps businesses by offering them complete transparency into the production AI systems so robust and high-performance AI solutions can be deployed. As of now, Fiddler has raised a total of $14 million which includes a funding of $3 million in the seed round.
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Amira Learning, the first AI powered learning assistant that uses speech recognition to help young readers, has secured an investment from the Amazon Alexa Fund. Amazon Alexa and Amira will work together to assist kids by tutoring them to read and learn via different devices and platforms. Amira was founded by the product and engineering team at Renaissance learning, and exhibits and demonstrates the ability to help children read and grow with an experience close to having a dedicated private tutor.
Yourika, an AI assisted learning solution has been funded by top investors across North America including Amazon through the Alexa Fund. Yourika was founded by AI and EdTech experts with the idea that 'anyone should be able to learn and discover anything, anywhere and at any time.' Yourika has a lot to offer including live transcriptions, ORBITS, an efficient study tool, along with AI based learning APIs. The team of researchers at Yourika Labs is constantly working towards deploying newer methodologies to transform learning experience.
Lightform, an augmented reality hardware company has recently secured a strategic investment from Amazon's Alexa Fund and other investors including Lux Capital and CrunchFund among others. The products manufactured by Lightroom include LF2, the first sound sensitive AR projector, LFC kit for mounting and adjusting configurations, and a content creation software with a perpetual license. Lightform allows you to create immerse designs, map complex and organic forms, create content through adaptive visuals, and deploy content in the form of an immersive AR experience.
EdTech company Zoobean has secured investment by Amazon through the Alexa Fund, and looks to incorporate voice technology into its reading software through the raised capital. Be it educators, librarians, or families, Zoobean helps every willing individual to participate in and gain insights with reading challenges. Zoobean offers Beanstack for school districts, Beanbright for classrooms and school buildings along with badge books for high quality reading logs. With over a thousand clients so far and regular webinars co-hosted by clients, Zoobean is one of the leading EdTech companies when it comes to smart and efficient reading.
HelixAI, a voice powered digital assistant manufacturer, after participating in the Amazon Alexa Accelerator program has secured an investment from the Alexa Fund. The digital assistant for scientific laboratories build by HelixAI responds to regular queries in real-time and revolutionizes hands-free information access. While it can function as the laboratories voice activated search engine, its knowledge base can be customized to alter its response system for the information to be more scientifically relevant. It also helps researchers manage their inventories and effortlessly go through the protocol of their experiments.
Aspinity is a pioneer in ultra-low power analog edge processing, and has recently $5.3 million Series A funding round led by Anzu Partners and Amazon's Alexa Fund. The power efficient analog machine learning chip is based on neuromorphic and computational electronics along with bio-inspired always-on sensing for high-octane power supply. The chips developed by Aspinity sort and filter out the irrelevant data resulting in lesser data processing, hence saving both time and energy and offering the device a longer battery life by about 10 times.
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Aaptiv is a fitness app for anyone who isn't able to plan out a day, and has raised $22 million in Series C funding round led by Amazon's Alexa Fund with a current valuation of over $200 million. Aaptiv offers users access to thousands of workout classes every week, and has been an ever expanding community of over 200K fitness enthusiasts. Users can avail fitness programs tailored to their specific needs and routine, along with the guidance of expert trainers for the workout sessions. With just the right techniques, tips, encouragement and music, Aaptiv is striving to transform workout sessions more gratifying.
SmartRent, a smart home automation solution provider, has recently raised $60 million in Series C funding led by Amazon's Alexa Fund. SmartRent has a lot to offer including self guided tours, parking management, access controls along with smart apartments. The smart home solutions are developed by multifamily operators for efficiency, convenience, and asset protection. The contactless property access management coupled with remote controls of doors, thermostats, and lights make it a trusted and reputed brand among operators and homebuilders.