Amazon's Alexa Fund gets $100m and goes global

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Alexa Fund, Amazon's VC programme, has received an additional $100m (£74.3m) to fund voice innovation.

The additional venture capital will be targeted at international investment opportunities, Paul Bernard, director, The Alexa Fund, wrote in a post.

The fund was launched in 2015 and is Amazon’s first and only dedicated VC programme. It has invested in more than 30 companies to date ranging from smart home, wearables and automotive to mobile computing, safety, developer tools and core speech science.

So far, only seven companies outside the US have received funding from the fund.

The fund gives portfolio companies access to a dedicated Amazon team to help each portfolio company develop and succeed on its path to Alexa integration.

The annual Alexa Fund CEO Summit provides exclusive access to curated updates from Alexa leadership, new Alexa programs, and emerging Amazon services. 

In addition to Alexa support, Amazon helps its portfolio companies work with the relevant stakeholders in Amazon teams like AWS, Retail (Launchpad), Amazon Media Group, and others.

Companies funded by this programme includes smart thermostat maker ecobee, home security product maker, Ring, and low-power microphone inventer, Vesper.

"While the Alexa Fund is still young, we believe the companies we invest in are a key component to bringing delight to customers everywhere, and an indicator of what’s still to come. After all, it’s still Day one," Bernard concluded.

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