Amazon announced late last week that it is introducing a new $1 billion “Industrial Innovation Fund” to encourage innovation in customer fulfillment, logistics, and the supply chain and support startups with funding.
“We see an opportunity to look beyond our own experience and empower companies that are developing emerging technologies in customer fulfillment operations, logistics, and the supply chain,” said Alex Ceballos Encarnacion, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide corporate development. “we’re excited to help advance these technologies as online shopping becomes even more important to people who are looking for more convenience and time savings.”
According to Amazon, the initial round of investments from its “Industrial Innovation Fund” are focused on wearable technology that improves safety in fulfilment centres and robotics that make people’s lives easier.
Modjoul is a South Carolina, United States-based company developing wearable tech to prevent injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. In contrast, Vimaan is a California-based company developing AI to improve inventory management in warehouses and fulfilment centers.
Another company that secured funding through the initial investment round is Agility Robotics. The Oregon-based company is developing robots that walk on two legs and can help humans wherever they are, be it hard to access places or places that might be considered harmful for humans.
BionicHIVE and Mantis Robotics are the other two companies that secured funding from Amazon. BionicHIVE is an Israel-based company developing robotic solutions for shelving racks and boxes in warehouses. In contrast, San Francisco-based Mantis Robotics is working on a robotic arm with sensor technology to work alongside humans.
Amazon is looking to invest in more startups and companies. Its ‘Industrial Innovation Fund’ will target companies of all stages, “from early-stage startups to more established companies that are working on innovative solutions to help advance and improve fulfillment operations, logistics, and supply chain management.”
Learn more about Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund here.
Image credit: Agility Robotics