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Amazon Invests in Qualcomm-Backed Israeli Semiconductor Startup

Amazon Web Services has invested in Wiliot Inc., an Israel and San Diego-based semiconductor company.

(Bloomberg) -- Amazon Web Services has invested in Wiliot Inc., an Israel and San Diego-based semiconductor company that focuses on wireless technology that tracks the location of goods during manufacturing.

Wiliot has closed a $30 million Series B funding round, with investment coming from AWS, Samsung Venture Investment Corp. and Avery Dennison Corp., the company said in a statement Monday.

The company, founded in 2017, plans to announce a battery-free bluetooth sticker-sized sensor tag, which it says can be embedded in the production phase of consumer goods. The disposable products, still in testing, will allow real-time tracking throughout the manufacturing process, and potentially applied to clothes to connect with washing machines to the right spin cycle is applied.

“Wiliot’s strategy for battery-free bluetooth transponders, which sense and communicate without needing specific action by consumers, is very relevant to Avery Dennison’s intelligent labels strategy,” said Francisco Melo, general manager of global radio-frequency identification at Avery Dennison.

With the latest funding round, Wiliot has raised $50 million in total. It has been previously backed by Qualcomm Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, 83North Venture Capital, Grove Venture Partners, and M Ventures.

Wiliot employs about 40 people, and has offices in the U.S., Israel, and Germany. It is exploring opening an office in Asia, and is targeting an initial public offering in the U.S. once the business grows, Steve Statler, the company’s senior vice president of marketing and business development, told Bloomberg.

The deal is another investment by AWS in Israel. Last week it confirmed a deal for startup CloudEndure, which provides disaster recovery, continuous backup and migration tools. The Seattle-based company is also building up in the Middle East, and is set to open a center in Bahrain. Inc. has dozens of clients in the region, including ride-hailing startup Careem; Saudi Arabia’s Al Tayyar Travel Group; and the Dubai-based broadcaster MBC Group.

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