AI startups are a prime acquisition target for companies looking to leverage AI and ML technology, especially in the wake of the pandemic. The pace of AI acquisitions has been steadily rising as many companies incorporate AI into their core offering.
In this article, we look at the major AI acquisitions in 2021.
Microsoft announced the acquisition of Nuance, an AI-based Tech company for $19.7 billion. This is Microsoft’s second-costliest acquisition after Linkedin ($26.2 billion). Nuance provides speech recognition and conversational AI services and is best known for its deep learning voice transcription service popular in the health sector. Nuance’s voice recognition technology also powers Apple’s Siri. Microsoft is making efforts to provide industry-specific cloud offerings. Nuance and Microsoft have collaborated in the past for building technology for recognising and transcribing speech with ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) technologies and Microsoft hopes to double its total addressable market (TAM) in the healthcare space to nearly $500 billion.
IBM has bought Turbonomic, an AI-powered Application Resource Management company. The acquisition will help IBM boost its full-stack application observability and management efforts to ensure better performance and minimise cost using AIOps.
Google has acquired semiconductor IP company Provino Technologies that provides network on chip (NoC) solutions for next-gen system-on-chips (SOCs) focused on AI/ML. Provino develops interconnect protocols to be deployed in next-generation consumer security applications. With Provino, Google is most likely to adopt NoC technologies for running various research work in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
In its biggest acquisition in a decade, Panasonic Corp has bought Blue Yonder, a supply chain and AI software provider company, for $7.1 billion. The acquisition will strengthen Panasonic’s portfolio and accelerate the companies’ Autonomous Supply Chain mission, empowering customers to optimise their supply chains using AI, ML and loT. Blue Yonder is one of the largest supply chain software providers with clientele including Coca Cola, P&G and Unilever. The Panasonic-Blue Yonder deal comes at a time of heightened need for real-time data and automated solutions, due to the pandemic and growth of e-commerce.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired San Francisco startup Determined AI. By removing the complexity of ML development, Determined AI’s open source ML platform accelerates time to production. With the acquisition, HPE seeks to further its mission in making AI heterogenous and empower ML engineers to build ML models at a larger scale. HPE will combine the startup’s AI training platform with its high-performance computing solutions.
Global legal and compliance tech company Relativity acquired Text IQ, an AI company as a part of its effort to embed AI technologies deeper within its core platform. Text IQ employs unsupervised graphic modeling, natural language processing, machine learning, social network analysis and deep learning to search for the most relevant data to a legal case. Over time, the AI capabilities of Text IQ will be integrated into the Relativity platform.
Innovyze Inc, provider of Smart Water Infrastructure Modeling and Simulation Technology, was bought by Autodesk Inc for $1 billion. The company leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions to predict and optimise operations. The acquisition helps Autodesk position itself as a leading global provider of end-to-end digital solutions of water infrastructure and creates a path to a more sustainable and digitized water industry.
Online consumer intelligence platform Brandwatch is acquired by Cision for $450 million. Brandwatch uses AI and machine learning for “social listening”. The deal combines the two players to offer a range of services from PR to online customer engagement and marketing.
Australian software company Atlassian acquired Chartio to add a new data analysis and visualisation component to the company’s family of products. Atlassian is acquiring Chartio to bring data visualisation to the platform.
Leading additive electronics provider Nano Dimension acquired machine learning/deep learning leader Deepcube Ltd. Deepcube applies various patented breakthrough algorithms to enhance data analysis and deployments of deep learning-based AI systems. The ML application enables faster and more accurate training of deep learning models, improving inference performance and real-time metrics. DeepCube’s scientists and engineers will join Nano Dimension. Deepcube’s training platform and inference engine will be integrated into Nano Dimension AME 3D-printers which will act as nodes and AI control center in a Smart Fabrication Network.