Amazon’s $100 million Alexa Fund has made its latest investment: leading a $5.6 million round in a company called Nucleus that makes smart intercoms that incorporate the online retail giant’s digital AI assistant.
Joining the Alexa Fund in the Series A round is BoxGroup, Greylock Partners, FF Angel, Foxconn, Liquid 2 Ventures and SV Angel. Nucleus representatives said in a press release this is the first time the Alexa Fund has led an investment. Nucleus also announced that it has acquired a Kickstarter-backed smart home phone called Ily.
The round brings Nucleus’ total funding to $10 million, and the company will use the money to spread awareness of its product and increase research and development efforts.
“It’s incredible to receive this level of support in such a short period of time,” Jonathan Frankel, co-founder and CEO of Nucleus said in a statement. “It speaks to the importance of our shared vision: Bringing families closer together with ease and convenience through world-class technology. Amazon has been a stand-out supporter since day one and recognizes the value Nucleus is bringing to families nationwide, and the rapid market traction we’re seeing within our growing community.”
Nucleus intercoms have video touchscreens and cameras. Users can communicate between rooms, houses or from other smart devices using iOS and Android apps.
The company was founded in New York in 2014. In August, Nucleus devices first debuted in Lowe’s stores across the country and on Amazon.com.
Last year Amazon opened up Alexa to developers, allowing them to add to Alexa’s abilities and write code that works with Alexa in the cloud, while letting the smart assistant do the heavy lifting of understanding and deciphering spoken commands. The Alexa Fund was announced at the same time, and has invested in numerous startups, most of which are focused on smart home and wearable products. In the next year, the fund’s scope will expand to include areas like robotics, developer tools, healthcare and accessibility.