BENGALURU HYDERABAD: Apple's recent acquisition of Indian machine-learning startup Tuplejump offers further evidence of a revival in the interest of global technology giants in the country's startup space, especially in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud infrastructure and automation. What's appealing about Indian entrepreneurs and their ventures is a combination of talent, technology, traction and transactions, said Ravi Gururaj, Nasscom product council chairman. Major acquisitions in 2016 point to growing demand for technologies that are'hot' right now, including machine learning, cloud infrastructure and automation, experts said. The tech giants are keen on acquiring companies that specialise in machine learning and artificial intelligence, said Thiyagarajan M, head of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) at software product thinktank iSPIRT.
As we've mentioned, corporate giants in tech are competing to acquire private artificial intelligence startups, with Google emerging as the most active acquirer over the last 5 years. So far in 2016, there have already been over 20 acquisitions of AI startups, the most recent being Twitter's acquisition of visual-processing startup Magic Pony Technology. To name a few, Vocal IQ, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, raised a seed round in June 2014 and was acquired in 2015 by Apple; AI-based messaging startup Emu was acquired by Google within a year of seed funding; Wit.ai was acquired by Facebook in 2015 after the startup raised two seed rounds the previous year; Salesforce acquired Series A stage smart-calendar startup Tempo AI last year. Apple and Salesforce joined the race last year and have acquired 3 AI-focused startups each since then.