Salesforce Acquires Deep Learning Startup MetaMind


Salesforce acquires Palo-Alto-based deep learning company, MetaMind, the companies announced on April 4.

Launched in July 2014, MetaMind specializes in artificial intelligence (AI) techniques of data crunching to help businesses arrive at better decisions. While the terms of the deal still remain undisclosed, the AI startup will shut down services on May 4 for their unpaid users, and on June 4 for the monthly recurring users.

"[R]eal AI solutions with breakthrough capabilities that further automate and personalize customer support, marketing automation, and many other business processes," says MetaMind CEO Richard Socher, who added that he is "thrilled" with the integration. "We'll extend Salesforce's data science capabilities by embedding deep learning within the Salesforce platform."

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are considered big in the current tech scenario, with leading companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google in hot pursuit for new processes and uses for the technology.

"For Salesforce to keep up, it either needs to partner or acquire technology and people with these skills. MetaMind looks [to me] like Salesforce wants to buy its way into these capabilities," says Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, a research firm focused on I.T. metrics.

Joining hands with MetaMind seems to be a wise move by the company, given its latest record of the series of acquisitions. PredictionIO, also a machine learning startup, was acquired in February, while Tempo AI smart calendar app, was procured in 2015, but has now shut down. In December, Minhash joined the company for market intelligence.

Before the acquisition, MetaMind had raised $8 million from investors, which included Khosla Ventures and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

According to a report, in the long run, the integration should help Salesforce to incorporate AI technologies and functions in its various processes and markets in order to reap benefits for the company and its customers.

Photo: Thomas Cloer | Flickr

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