The year 2019 saw many important changes in terms of acquisitions and acqui-hiring in the emerging tech sector. From tech giants “collecting” boutique startups to mid-sized companies absorbing thriving startups, this year was a saw many interesting developments in the industry. As the year comes to an end, we bring to you a roundup of all the whereabouts of the industry in the last year. Here are some of the biggest developments:
Russia and India collaborated to work in the field of AI, IoT to transform the continent into a superpower. India is of great interest to companies in the field of the industrial Internet of Things and Russia was hopeful to see first projects in this area being implemented jointly with them.
Walmart acquihires Dataturks, Bengaluru-based machine learning startup. Walmart Labs wants to make use of Dataturks’ ML capabilities to the fullest and is apparently looking to use the startup’s machine learning strengths in various projects for the digital arm of the US-based major, Walmart stores.
Intel acquired Hyderabad-based startup Ineda Systems for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition was made specifically for the employees’ skill sets rather than its products and services as it acquired around 100 engineers from Ineda.
Swiggy acquired Kint.IO, a Bengaluru-based AI start-up that applies deep learning and computer vision to object recognition in videos. With clever imaging and computer vision touted to drive the future of consumer apps, the acquisition can be seen as a strategic move by Swiggy to consolidate its position in the highly-competitive food delivery market in India.
India and Israel joined hands to boost AI in medicine. Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) on behalf of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), on behalf of the Government of Israel, granted HealthNet Global, a part of the Apollo Hospitals Group, India and Zebra Medical Vision, Israel funding to validate, co-develop and deploy medical imaging Artificial Intelligence (AI) across India and to increase Tuberculosis (TB) screening capabilities in the rural areas.
Zoho, a global player in the SaaS applications, recently announced its acquisition of ePoise Systems that offers automated HR and onboarding services for companies. The company offers multiple services, such as employer branding, smart screening, vendor management, talent engagement and onboarding training, which Zoho wants to build upon.
Reliance bought 87% stake in chatbot startup Haptik in a ₹700 crore deal. The total transaction size, including primary capital investment, includes ₹230 crore as the consideration for the initial business transfer from Haptik to Jio. The Haptik team will continue to drive the growth of the business, including the enterprise platform as well as digital consumer assistants.
Hike entered a partnership with Indraprastha Institute of Technology Delhi (IIIT-D) to kick-start research in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The aim is to help enable more deep-rooted research in AI & ML in the country.
NetApp announced the launch of AI Centre of Excellence jointly with NVIDIA on its one-year anniversary celebration of Data Visionary Centre. As a part of the partnership, CoE will see notable investment by NetApp in the NVIDIA DGX workstation to provide customers and partners a better understanding of the role of AI and to deploy it to their advantage.
Salesforce acquired Tableau Software in a huge USD15.7 billion stock deal. The last company acquired by Salesforce was MuleSoft, an integration platform for connecting Software-as-a-Service offerings and enterprise infrastructures.
Manipal got into expanding their offerings in the professional learning segment through a deeper relationship with long-term investee company Jigsaw Academy. With an investment of 3 million dollars in 2015, Manipal has been a strategic investor in Jigsaw Academy.
DataRobot, a leader in enterprise AI acquired ParallelM, a pioneer in machine learning operations (MLOps) category that helps organisations scale the deployment, management, and governance of machine learning in production using any ML platform on any cloud or on-premise environment. ParallelM acquisition is DataRobot’s fourth acquisition in approximately two years.
Uber acquired Mighty AI to boost its autonomous driving efforts. The latter develops training data for computer vision models. Uber will acquire Mighty AI’s intellectual property, tooling, tech talent and labelling community, along with 40 employees joining Uber.
Go-Jek acquired AI recruitment platform AirCTO and opened its second engineering and product development centre in Gurugram. AirCTO team joined Go-Jek with immediate effect to look into building products that accelerate the recruitment of talent for them. The acquisition aligns with Go-Jek’s focus on hiring premium talent to support the development of its ‘Super App’.
Big Data BizViz (BDB) announced a multi-faceted partnership with L&T Technology Services to enable the next generation of data-driven engineering solutions. With this association, LTTS intends to integrate BDB platform into their AI-based solutions to provide enterprises with seamless analytics in a manner that is simple, affordable, scalable and sustainable.
LTI acquired AI-based analytics solutions provider Lymbyc. Last year, the two companies had inked an MoU to tap into the growing shift in market demand from an IT-led, system of record reporting to business-led, agile analytics, including self-service.
Dentsu Aegis Network, a part of Dentsu Inc. announced buying a majority stake in Indian analytics firm Ugam Solutions. Ugam will join Merkle, which is a part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. As a part of the deal, Ugam will bring high-end analytics capabilities, along with a broad spectrum of analytical decision support.
Ola acquired Bengaluru-based AI startup Pickup.ai at an undisclosed amount. Pickup.ai uses autonomous technologies like AI, computer vision and sensor fusion to provide seamless AI-powered solutions for businesses. Pickup.ai team joined Ola as a part of the deal.
C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and Atos announced having signed a Cooperation Agreement for technology advancement in the areas of quantum computing, artificial intelligence and exascale computing. It aims to bring together users from academic, scientific, research and industry to rapidly acquire skills and develop further expertise in the field of quantum computing with the support from the Government of India.
Wipro announced a partnership with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore to conduct advanced applied research in autonomous systems, robotics and 5G space. They set up a hybrid industry-academia collaboration unit, which will drive idea discovery, research and innovation in technology and product design.
Razorpay acquired Gurugram-based fraud analytics startup Thirdwatch, an early-stage startup with around 10 employees. The acquisition will add the much-needed capabilities of AI, machine learning and big data to enhance Razorpay’s payment experience.
OYO acquired Danish data science firm Danamica for an undisclosed sum to bolster its global vacation rental business. It will help Oyo to lend more accuracy to pricing, leading to higher efficiencies and yield for their real estate owners and value for money for millions of global guests.
Wipro collaborated with IISc Bangalore to develop an electric autonomous/driverless car for Indian roads. They are going to create their own electric vehicle and then put all the systems inside. And talking about the rollout, it is planned for March 2020.
Ericsson bought the workforce of Niche AI for its Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence centre. Ericsson began its India wing of Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator (GAIA) in 2018 to create open-source solutions to modernise telecom network, deploying the power of AI and machine learning.
Haptik acquired the Mumbai-based startup Buzzo.AI to enhance Haptik’s voice and chat solutions and leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning for a multilingual experience.
Genpact announced a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Rightpoint, a noted digital consultancy with technology at its core. The deal is reportedly designed to bring experience and process innovation together to help clients drive end-to-end digital transformation and win in the growing experience economy.
Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd acquired Powerupcloud Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a fast-growing cloud consulting company headquartered in Bengaluru. Powerup is the sixth acquisition by LTI since the company got listed in 2016 and fourth in this calendar year.
Manthan announced that they are expanding a suite of Algorithmic Customer Experience solutions through a strategic alliance with RichRelevance, a personalization software provider. With this, they have initiated a joint go-to-market now, and have set the path towards consolidating their category-leading businesses in the coming year.
Boxx.ai, a Bangalore-based AI startup, was acquired by Netcore Solutions, a noted company which deals in SaaS-based multi-channel marketing automation. With this part-cash and part-stock deal, Netcore would be acquiring all of Boxx.ai’s technology, IP, clients and team, and would provide an exit to the investors.
Google acquired CloudSimple, a noted provider of secure, high performance, dedicated environments to run VMware workloads in the cloud. This acquisition builds on its existing partnership with CloudSimple, allowing them to accelerate a fully-integrated VMware migration solution.