Smart thermostat manufacturer Ecobee has announced that it received $35 million in funding from the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa fund.
Amazon has reported that the investment in Ecobee is the single largest investment that has ever come from the Alexa fund. Ecobee announced that it intends to use the funding to design more home technologies that are connectivity oriented so that it can make life simpler and better. Ecobee’s Wi-Fi thermostat is designed to allow users to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. Ecobee also made the first thermostat that was compatible with the Amazon Echo courtesy of the Alexa Smart Home Skill API. The latter makes it possible for Amazon Echo owners to control the temperature through audio commands.
Amazon Alexa’s vice president Steve Rabuchin stated that his firm was pleased the creativity in Ecobee’s creative smart home solutions and their ability to simplify and add value to the lives of homeowners. Rabuchin also stated that Amazon is excited to see what Ecobee has to offer for the future as far as growth and creating new voice experiences is concerned. The two companies have so far had a good experience providing devices that allow Alexa customers to have amazing voice experiences.
Ecobee was also fortunate enough to get a good head start with HomeKit which also happens to be the first device that can be controlled using Siri from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Ecobee is based in Toronto and was founded in 2007. The firm competes in the smart thermostat market with firms such as Honeywell and Nest which is a division of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Honeywell recently announced that all its connected thermostats are now directly with all the devices that feature Alexa.
Amazon established the $100 million Alexa fund so that it could invest in firms developing products that feature voice-based interactions in wearables and smart home technologies. The company also plans to expand the Alexa fund so that it can invest in more areas such as robotics, accessibility, healthcare and developer tools.