Brief: Amazon invests millions in a startup, then launches a similar product
- Amazon has launched the Echo Show, a device with video conferencing and home intercom features, as well as the capabilities of other Alexa devices, reports Recode. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
- The problem: the Echo Show is similar to a product launched last year by a startup called Nucleus, in which Amazon had invested US$5.6 million via its Alexa Fund.
Why it matters:
- Amazon has a history of competing directly against its partners and customers. To be fair, Google and Apple do too.
- Nonetheless, Amazon’s move may cause companies to be wary of receiving investment from the ecommerce giant. “They must realize that by trying to trample over us — a premiere partner in the Alexa Fund ecosystem — that they are going to really cripple that ecosystem,” says Nucleus founder Jonathan Frankel.
- For startups working closely with big companies, this a cautionary tale of how partnerships with corporates may not be equal.
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