Google launches new investment program to bolster smart assistant

By Pouyan Broukhim

Google has announced that it will be looking to invest more readily into early stage startups that are looking to develop programs for the Google Assistant.

The investment program will provide financial resources, advice from a team of Google experts, partnership programs that provide early access to Google’s upcoming tools and features, access to the Google Cloud, and promotional support through Google’s marketing channels.

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“To promote more of this creativity, we're opening a new investment program for early-stage startups that share our passion for the digital assistant ecosystem, helping to push new ideas forward and advance the possibilities of what digital assistants can do,” said Sanjay Kapoor, Vice President of Corporate Development, and Nick Fox, Vice President of Product, in a Google blogs announcement.

The program follows the launch of Amazon’s own Alexa Fund, committing $100mn to its own investment body last year to fuel its own innovation with its own voice technology platform.

Unlike Alphabet’s investment arms, this program will be more focused on strategically bolstering company’s smart assistant network in order to make its own devices more attractive against the likes of Amazon, rather than maximizing returns and gaining profits.

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