Amazon announced the launch of a new $1 billion fund in April, tasked with investing in companies working in the customer fulfilment, logistics and supply chain sectors. The ‘Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund’ comes amid record investment into the shipping and logistics management space prompted by global supply chain issues coupled with robust post-pandemic demand which has exacerbated labour shortages and cost inflation in a sector which was already struggling with these issues.
The fund will invest in both startups and more established companies. They are interested in companies in the broad operations, logistics and supply chain management space, which could include those working on robotics, AI, and autonomy.
The first five of its initial investments from the new fund have gone to startups working on warehouse robotics and wearables:
Agility Robotics an Oregon-based maker of a bi-pedal walking robot called Digit that works alongside warehouse workers.
BionicHIVE, an Israeli company working on autonomous robotics for warehouses.
Mantis Robotics, a San Francisco-based startup developing a tactile robotic arm that uses sensor technology to work alongside people in warehouses.
Modjoul, a South Carolina-based startup that makes wearable safety technology aimed at reducing workplace injuries.
Vimaan -California-based company that’s developing computer vision and AI technology to improve inventory management.