Amazon invests in Ecobee, its third smart home venture in three months
Amazon's Alexa Fund joins in a $62 million round
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.