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Amazon Announces the Next Alexa Fund Recipients: Musaic and Rachio

Musaic, maker of a high-resolution wireless HiFi system, will work with the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service to allow customers to control their Musaic devices using their voice

Rachio, creator of an intelligent sprinkler controller, will work with the Alexa Skills Kit to allow customers to control their watering system using their voice

The Alexa Fund will provide up to $100 million in investments dedicated to empowering developers, manufacturers, and start-ups of all sizes who have ideas for how voice technology can improve everyday life

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 27, 2015-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon today announced two new recipients of the Alexa Fund, Musaic and Rachio. The Alexa Fund will provide up to $100 million in investments dedicated to supporting developers, manufacturers, and start-ups of all sizes who are passionate about creating new experiences designed around the human voice. Musaic and Rachio are the latest additions to the growing portfolio of Alexa Fund recipients, and join the seven previously funded companies announced in June. Learn more and apply for funding at developer.amazon.com/AlexaFund.

“We’re continuing to invest in new ideas for how voice technology can improve everyday life,” said Greg Hart, Vice President, Amazon Echo and Alexa Voice Services. “Musaic and Rachio are both innovative companies whose products can help customers create a truly connected home, and with Alexa people will be able to interact with the technology in a new way. We can’t wait to help bring these new products to customers.”

Musaic is a high-resolution wireless HiFi system that allows customers to listen to music in every room with exceptional sound quality, integrate smart lighting to create and control scenes and moods, and combine with home automation to create a connected smart home. Musaic is building skills for Alexa enabling Echo customers to control their Musaic system using only their voice. Musaic is also working to be one of the first companies to integrate with the Alexa Voice Service. Learn more about Musaic at www.musaic.com.

“Musaic is extremely excited to be involved with the Alexa Fund,” said Matthew Bramble, CEO, Musaic. “We make what we call ‘Smart HiFi’ because we believe there is a change coming where audio, video, lighting, comfort-control, and security will no longer be delivered in product silos. We feel that audio has an extremely strong place in this emerging ‘Internet of Things,’ as it is perhaps the most effective and compelling method of communication with the home owner. Natural language understanding is going to be part of the next great leap in home automation, and we’re looking forward to creating some really exciting smart home functionality with the Alexa Voice Service.”

Rachio is a Denver-based software and hardware company focused on improving the water efficiency of homes. Rachio makes an intelligent sprinkler controller that helps customers water smartly for better results and lower costs by monitoring weather conditions automatically, adapting to the specifics of a user’s yard, and providing control and dashboard options through a smartphone app. Rachio will use the Alexa Skills Kit to build new skills for Alexa, enabling customers to ask Alexa to provide schedule updates, list the most recent watering events, and initiate watering in a particular pre-set zone—all by voice. It will be easy for customers to simply say “Alexa, tell Rachio to skip watering today,” or “Alexa, tell Rachio the flower beds need a little bit more water.” Learn more about Rachio at rachio.com.

“Rachio is thrilled to be working with the Alexa Fund,” said Chris Klein, CEO, Rachio. “The possibilities on how to integrate with Amazon’s voice service are endless, and will immediately delight and excite our customers. I can’t wait to be able to teach Alexa skills around making outdoor watering more efficient.”

The Alexa Fund—named for Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers Amazon Echo—is open to anyone with an innovative idea for how voice technology can improve customers’ lives. Alexa Fund investment decisions are made based on the potential for unique or novel applications of voice technology that leverage the Alexa Skills Kit or the Alexa Voice Service.

The Alexa Fund is also supporting the following companies with investments: Orange Chef, Scout Alarm, Garageio, Toymail, Dragon Innovation, MARA, and Mojio. To learn more about how these companies are working with Alexa visit developer.amazon.com/AlexaFund.

About Amazon

Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Amazon Echo are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

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