Alexa Fund Investments – Sept 2018

Amazon Alexa Fund Announces Investments in Bamboo Learning, Endel and Aiva

The Amazon Alexa Fund today announced that it has made three new investments in voice ecosystem startups including Bamboo Learning, Endel and Aiva. These  early stage companies were not part of the Alexa Accelerator run by Techstars which is underway now, but instead are investments independent of that program according to Amazon Alexa Fund director Paul Bernard. However, two of the companies did complete other Accelerator programs managed by Techstars for Music and Healthcare. Background from the announcement on the companies included:

  • 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 alumni 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 alumni of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator powered by Techstars.

The Alexa Fund did not disclose how much funding was placed in each of the companies. To date, the fund says it has made more than 50 investments (39 are listed on its overview page), including supporting later stage companies such as Ring and Ecobee.


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