Amazon has invested an undisclosed amount in a Californian startup that helps you track your personal belongings via an app and a bluetooth-enabled device.
The ecommerce giant backed Santa Barbara-headquartered TrackR in a $US50 million (£38 million) Series B funding round announced on Wednesday through its “Amazon Alexa Fund,” which it has used to invest in TrackR previously.
Paul Bernard, director of corporate development for the Alexa Fund, said in a statement: “The Alexa Fund is excited to continue our support of TrackR through this follow-on investment, which will help build on their vision for the intersection of their item tracking system and Alexa.”
TrackR, a startup that has now raised more than $US60 million (£45 million) in total, said it will use the new funding to build out its technology and grow its user base.
TrackR’s coin-shaped devices can be attached to things like bags and bikes to help you keep track of where they are through an app. But TrackR’s system can also be used to help you track the whereabouts of your phone without the need for a TrackR device.
The company has developed an Amazon Alexa skill that allows people to simply ask Alexa (Amazon’s virtual assistant) where their phone is and get a location.
TrackR users can use the “Find My Phone” skill for Amazon Alexa to call their phone via an Amazon Echo speaker. They must say “Alexa, ask TrackR to find my phone,” and Alexa will call it loudly, even if it is on silent. If the phone isn’t at home, Alexa will reveal the address of its last known location.
Other investors in the funding round include Revolution Growth, Foundry Group, DoCoMo Capital, The Glenmede Trust, and Bespoke Strategies.
“At TrackR, our goal is to leverage technology to remember where items are located,” said Chris Herbert, CEO and cofounder of TrackR.
“With growing community features such as the TrackR Crowd Locate network, which helps discover over two million lost items every day, finding lost keys and other personal items have never been easier. With this round of funding, we will redefine personal organisation by ensuring nothing is ever lost for millions of consumers while continuing to maintain our leadership position in the intelligent tracking space.”
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