Amazon’s Alexa has been a much more popular device than any consumer analyst could have imagined and possibly so too for those who designed the thing at Amazon in the first place. However, now that the market has made its desires known through positive reviews and continued purchases, Amazon is moving forward with a long-term plan to continually improve Alexa’s abilities.
Reuters reported that Amazon has finalized an investment into TrackR, a Santa Barbara, California-based startup that specializes in monitoring objects through the application of a small discoverable chip adhered to their sides. Though neither company would make any official remarks on the terms of the deal, a source disclosed that Amazon is pledging somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000 to bolster TrackR’s development timeline and potentially get some snazzy new perks for its Alexa interface while it’s at it.
“The ability to bring on more partners and realize that you are building an entire ecosystem — I think that is what was really important for us,” Chris Herbert, cofounder of TrackR, told Reuters.
The money comes not from Amazon’s company coffers but instead from the Alexa Fund, a special investment group dedicated to supporting companies that are developing software or capabilities that interact with the device and will ostensibly improve the user experience going forward. The TrackR announcement brings the number of properties invested in by the Alexa Fund up to 15, and with an estimated total of $100 million at the fund’s disposal, there might be many strategic investments to come.