Amazon's Alexa Fund leads $35 million investment in smart thermostat maker Ecobee

Like other smart thermostats, Ecobee's Wi-Fi connected device is designed to help users conserve energy and save money on their utility bills.

Smart thermostat maker Ecobee announced that it's raised $35 million in funding from Amazon's Alexa Fund, Thomvest, and Relay Ventures. This is largest single Alexa Fund investment to date, Amazon said in a statement.

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Ecobee said it plans to use the latest cash injection to develop more connected home technologies "that make people's lives simpler and better".

Like other smart thermostats, Ecobee's Wi-Fi connected device is designed to help users conserve energy and save money on their utility bills.

The device was the first Wi-Fi thermostat to be directly compatible with Amazon Echo through the Alexa Smart Home Skill API, which allows Echo users to control room temperature with their voice.

"We've been impressed with Ecobee's innovative smart home technologies and their ability to improve the everyday lives of homeowners," said Steve Rabuchin, VP of Amazon Alexa. "We're excited to see what the future holds for this growing company and the new voice experiences they'll bring to Amazon Alexa customers."

Toronto-based Ecobee also got in early with HomeKit and was the first device capable of being controlled using Siri.

Ecobee competes with the likes of Google's Nest and Honeywell in the smart thermostat market, although all three device makers have integrated with Amazon Echo. Earlier today, Honeywell announced that its entire line of connected thermostats is now directly integrated with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices like Echo.

As for the $100 million Alexa Fund, the effort was established to help Amazon invest in companies that were innovating in the area of voice-based interaction and similar smart home and wearable technologies. Amazon plans to expand the fund to include areas such as robotics, developer tools, healthcare, and accessibility.

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