The Race For AI: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple In A Rush To Grab Artificial Intelligence Startups

The Race For AI: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple In A Rush To Grab Artificial Intelligence Startups



Over 60% of the AI companies acquired in the last 3 years had VC backing. There have been 4 major acquisitions already in 2016.


More than 20 private companies working to advance artificial intelligence technologies have been acquired in the last 3 years by corporate giants competing in the space, including Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Yahoo, Facebook, Intel, and, more recently, Salesforce. There have been 4 major acquisitions already in 2016.

Google has been the most prominent global player, with 5 key acquisitions under its belt. In 2013, the corporate giant picked up deep learning and neural network startup DNNresearch from the computer science department at the University of Toronto. This acquisition reportedly helped Google make major upgrades to its image search feature. In 2014 Google acquired British company DeepMind Technologies for some $600M (Google DeepMind’s program recently beat a human world champion in the board game “Go”).

Salesforce, which joined the race this year, has already made two major acquisitions: Khosla Ventures-backed MetaMind and open-source machine-learning server PredictionIO.

Amazon too is upping its game in machine learning, and Bloomberg reported this week regarding the retail giant’s unannounced acquisition of Sunnyvale, California-based AI startup Orbeus.

The timeline below lists some of the key acquisitions in this sector by major tech companies, identified using CB Insights’ database, over the last 3 years.




Major Acquisitions In Artificial Intelligence Since 2013
Company Description Acquirer
DNNresearch Use of deep learning and neural networks for image search Google
Indisys Natural-language processing Intel
IQ Engines Image-recognition software Yahoo
LookFlow API for image recognition and categorization Yahoo
SkyPhrase Natural-language processing technology Yahoo
DeepMind Develops self-learning algorithms Google
Cogenea AI-based virtual assistant IBM
Madbits Deep learning-based visual intelligence platform to identify contents of images Twitter
Jetpac Aggregates social media pictures and analyzes their locations to provide a travel guide Google
Dark Blue Labs Deep learning-based technology for understanding natural language Google DeepMind
Vision Factory Object and text-recognition using deep learning Google DeepMind Natural language API for developers in sectors including home automation and robotics Facebook
AlchemyAPI Cloud platform with natural-language capabilities including keyword extraction and categorization IBM
Whetlab The company claims to have developed a technology to make machine learning better and faster Twitter
Vocal IQ Speech-processing for improved human-machine interaction Apple
Orbeus Recognition API focused on visual recognition technology Amazon
Saffron Cognitive computing platform Amazon
Emotient Emotion-detection technology to improve understanding of customer sentiment Apple
Nexidia Enables searching of unstructured audio, video, and text data NICE Systems
PredictionIO Open-source machine learning server Salesforce
MetaMind AI-based personalization and customer support solutions for companies Salesforce


[CB Insights]

April 11, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , ,

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