Amazon has launched the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund (AIIF), a $1 billion venture investment initiative that will invest in companies developing supply chain, logistics, and fulfilment technologies.
The Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund will invest in boosting delivery speed and improving warehouse and logistics worker experience.
“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 Amazon’s VP of Worldwide Corporate Development, Alex Ceballos Encarnacion.
“We know there are companies out there that share our curiosity and excitement to invent. Whether our investment helps them grow or leads them to work with Amazon, or both, 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.”
The initial round of AIIF funding is centred on wearable technologies and robotics. Included in the first round is Modjoul, based in South Carolina, which develops wearable safety technologies targeted at minimising injuries, Vimaan, based in California, develops computer vision and artificial intelligence solutions to improve inventory management.
Agility Robotics, based in Oregon, develops a bi-pedal walking robot, Digit, which addresses the mobility limitations of traditional robots so that machines can assist people wherever they are, BionicHIVE, based in Israel, develops an autonomous robotic solution that can adapt to existing shelving racks and boxes in warehouses, and Mantis Robotics, based in San Francisco, develops a tactile robotic arm that uses sensor technology to work cohesively alongside people.
The AIIF will target companies at various stages, from early-stage startups to more established companies. Companies working on robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and other developing technologies might be among them.
Amazon noted that the size of the investment would vary depending on the opportunity and stage of growth and that they are not looking to invest in a set number of companies.