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

2016-10-10 - By 

Nearly 140 private companies working to advance artificial intelligence technologies have been acquired since 2011, with over 40 acquisitions taking place in 2016 alone (as of 10/7/2016). Corporate giants like Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple and Salesforce, are competing in the race to acquire private AI companies, with Samsung emerging as a new entrant this month with its acquisition of startup Viv Labs, which is developing a Siri-like AI assistant.

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Google has been the most prominent global player, with 11 acquisitions in the category under its belt (follow all of Google’s M&A activity here through our real-time Google acquisitions tracker).

In 2013, the corporate giant picked up deep learning and neural network startup DNNresearchfrom the computer science department at the University of Toronto. This acquisition reportedly helped Google make major upgrades to its image search feature. In 2014 Googleacquired British company DeepMind Technologies for some $600M (Google DeepMind’s program recently beat a human world champion in the board game “Go”). This year, it acquired visual search startup Moodstock, and bot platform Api.ai.

Intel and Apple are tied for second place. The former acquired 3 startups this year alone: Itseez, Nervana Systems, and Movidius, while Apple acquired Turi and Tuplejump recently.

Twitter ranks third, with 4 major acquisitions, the most recent being image-processing startupMagic Pony.

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

We updated this timeline on 10/7/2016 to include acquirers who have made atleast 2 acquisitions since 2011.

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Major Acquirers In Artificial Intelligence Since 2011
CompanyDate of AcquisitionAcquirer
Hunch11/21/2011eBay
Cleversense12/14/2011Google
Face.com5/29/2012Facebook
DNNresearch3/13/2013Google
Netbreeze3/20/2013Microsoft
Causata8/7/2013NICE
Indisys8/25/2013Yahoo
IQ Engines9/13/2013Intel
LookFlow10/23/2013Yahoo
SkyPhrase12/2/2013Yahoo
Gravity1/23/2014AOL
DeepMind1/27/2014Google
Convertro5/6/2014AOL
Cogenea5/20/2014IBM
Desti5/30/2014Nokia
Medio Systems6/12/2014Nokia
Madbits7/30/2014Twitter
Emu8/6/2014Google
Jetpac8/16/2014Google
Dark Blue Labs10/23/2014DeepMind
Vision Factory10/23/2014DeepMind
Wit.ai1/5/2015Facebook
Equivio1/20/2015Microsoft
Granata Decision Systems1/23/2015Google
AlchemyAPI3/4/2015IBM
Explorys4/13/2015IBM
TellApart4/28/2015Twitter
Timeful5/4/2015Google
Tempo AI5/29/2015Salesforce
Sociocast6/9/2015AOL
Whetlab6/17/2015Twitter
Orbeus10/1/2015Amazon
Vocal IQ10/2/2015Apple
Perceptio10/6/2015Apple
Saffron10/26/2015Intel
Emotient1/7/2016Apple
Nexidia1/11/2016NICE
PredictionIO2/19/2016Salesforce
MetaMind4/4/2016Salesforce
Crosswise4/14/2016Oracle
Expertmaker5/5/2016eBay
Itseez5/27/2016Intel
Magic Pony6/20/2016Twitter
Moodstocks7/6/2016Google
SalesPredict7/11/2016eBay
Turi8/5/2016Apple
Nervana Systems8/9/2016Intel
Genee8/22/2016Microsoft
Movidius9/6/2016Intel
Palerra9/19/2016Oracle
Api.ai9/19/2016Google
Angel.ai9/20/2016Amazon
tuplejump9/22/2016Apple

Original article here.

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