Amazon has announced a new $1 Billion venture investment program, Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund (AIIF). The multi-billion dollar eCommerce giant plans to use this fund to invest in companies working to improve logistics, supply chain management and safety.
The intent seems crystal clear here, Amazon is looking to infuse capital in companies developing technologies most suited to improve Amazon’s own business. With the global supply chain dealing with halts forced by geopolitical disturbances, and COVID, Amazon’s move should come as no surprise.
In a blog post made to address the announcement further, Alex Ceballos Encarnacion, vice president of worldwide corporate development, said “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.”
AIIF is an addition to already existing investment initatives from Amazon, such as its MARS and re:MARS conferences.
While Amazon has not specified how many companies it plans to invest in, they did reveal some companies that are going to be on their list for this fund. A noticeable trend is that all these listed companies are working on wearables, focused on increasing efficiency and comfort of a logistics’ worker. Reportedly, companies all set to receive some investment include US-based Modjoul, who are working on wearables that prevent musculoskeletal injuries; Vimaan, another US-based SaaS company working on Inventory management solutions; and Agility Robotics, which is creating a “bi-pedal walking robot” called Digit.
Israel-based BionicHive, developing an autonomous robot targeting warehouse storage efficiency, and US-based Mantis Robotics, developing a tactile arm designed to interact and collaborate with a worker, are also set to receive a share from the AIIF.
“Even as we have continually improved our operations to better the employee experience and enhanced safety through the development of new workstations with better ergonomics, we hope this fund opens the door for more collaboration,” Cellabos said, concluding his statement on the blog post.
While Amazon continues its pursuit of best-in-class customer service, they have been in a long standing legal battle to consolidate their position in the India retail marketspace.
“The Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund will invest in companies that imagine solutions that incrementally increase delivery speed and further improve the experience of employees working in warehousing and logistics fields.”, the company further added.