Since its launch in 2015, the Alexa Fund has invested in more than 50 different companies, including Ring and ecobee. But, voice technology isn’t just for large, established brands. We’ve seen incredible promise among early-stage companies experimenting with Alexa. That’s one of the reasons we created the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars – to give these early-stage companies the funding, resources and mentorship they need to take their product to the next level.
We’re only able to welcome a handful of companies into the Accelerator each year, so we’re always on the search for new ways to support other promising early-stage startups experimenting with voice. Today, we’re excited to announce investments in three early-stage companies building Alexa-powered experiences and extending the future of conversational AI.
The three companies are:
- Bamboo Learning is a voice-based software and services company with a mission to provide interactive teaching. It is focused on developing skills for Alexa to make learning and practicing different subjects fun while listening and using their voice. Bamboo was an early launch partner for Alexa Presentation Language (APL) – improving voice-based experiences with ability to customize UI layouts for on-screen characteristics. Bamboo was founded by former Amazon Devices VP, Ian Freed, while Irina Fine, a thirty-year veteran of curriculum development and teaching, is Bamboo’s COO and SVP of Content.
- Endel generates personalized adaptive environments, designed to help you focus, relax, and sleep better. Its core algorithm is based on circadian rhythms, pentatonic scale, and sound masking. The sounds adapt to different inputs – like time of day, weather, heart rate, and location, boosting your productivity and cognitive abilities. Endel is a 2018 alumnus of the Techstars Music Accelerator.
- Aiva is a voice-powered healthcare assistant to speed response times and improve experience for users and caregivers alike. Aiva understands requests and routes them to the most appropriate person, who manages their responses from the Aiva Careteam mobile app. Aiva is a 2017 alumnus of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator powered by Techstars.
We are consistently impressed by the caliber of new companies building voice-based technologies and experiences on Alexa, and these companies, in particular, showcase the growing pace of innovation among early-stage companies experimenting with voice. Bamboo Learning and Aiva were both founded as voice-first companies from the very start, while Endel has its roots in audio and sound, having participated in Techstars’ Music Accelerator. Each is a prime example of a business that’s leading with voice and we’re thrilled to support them as they leverage new Alexa capabilities and features.
Like all portfolio companies, these three will receive more than a simple financial investment from the Alexa Fund. They will also have access to mentorship and resources from across relevant parts of the Alexa business, which together help the company continue its growth and strengthen their use of Alexa features and capabilities.
As an extension of the Alexa Fund’s early-stage investing program, these three companies will also participate in Demo Night for the 2018 Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, where they’ll join Alexa Accelerator companies on stage to showcase their company for investors and other members of the Seattle tech community.
Learn more about the Alexa Fund here.
Learn more about the Alexa Accelerator here.