Amazon invests in Ecobee, its third smart home venture in three months

Amazon invests in Ecobee, its third smart home venture in three months

Amazon's Alexa Fund joins in a $62 million round

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Amazon is not letting up on its smart home investing spree — reportedly joining a $62 million round in Ecobee, a smart thermostat brand. The money comes through the Amazon Alexa Fund, reports CNBC.

Amazon's Alexa Fund is a $100 venture capital arm for the online retailer, with a specific focus on supporting voice-enabled products. Its invested in Internet of Things (IoT) brands including Rachio, Petnet, Sphero and Owlet, a maker of connected baby monitors, according to its site.

Amazon is on a particular smart home bend, having bought smart doorbell maker Ring in a $1 billion deal at the end of February, and smart home camera maker Blink for $90 million in December 2017.

Ecobee's line of smart thermostats are voice-enabled and also fairly agnostic on which voice assistant connects to its device. Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can be used to control the thermostats — as well as Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT and other systems. But Alexa and Google Assistant are the two voice assistants that dominate the smart voice A.I. space — with parent companies Amazon and Google in a smart home battle with each other.

The $62 million is a Series C round of funding for the Toronto-based Ecobee, which is starting to broaden its line of smart home devices, and also includes smart home sensors that work directly with its thermostats.

(Check out The GearBrain to learn what smart home products and connected devices work with Google Home or Amazon Alexa.)

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