Salesforce has acquired artificial intelligence startup MetaMind. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Based in Palo Alto, MetaMind -- which was backed by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff -- touts its technology as being enterprise-grade AI. Its work has revolved mainly around deep learning in language and vision-based applications. "With MetaMind and Salesforce coming together, we'll be able to offer customers real AI solutions with breakthrough capabilities that further automate and personalize customer support, marketing automation, and many other business processes," MetaMind cofounder and chief executive Richard Socher wrote in a blog post.
Salesforce has acquired MetaMind, a deep learning startup backed by Salesforce cofounder and chief executive Marc Benioff. The startup's services will stop working on May 4. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. "Salesforce plans to integrate MetaMind's technology into Salesforce services," MetaMind cofounder and chief executive Richard Socher wrote in a blog post. "For unpaid web users, MetaMind's products will be discontinued on May 4. For our monthly recurring users, MetaMind's products will be discontinued on June 4. We'll delete any data we have stored for unpaid web users and monthly recurring users after April 11." Deep learning is a type of artificial intelligence that many large technology companies -- like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter -- have invested in by way of acquisitions or in-house research.
Salesforce has quietly been amassing talent in the artificial intelligence domain, most recently with the acquisition of MetaMind this week, a company working on deep learning for automated image recognition. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has backed the Palo Alto, California-based startup almost from the beginning, participating in an 8 million venture round in December 2014 along with Kholsa Ventures. The deal follows a number of other buys by Salesforce of companies including machine learning startup PredictionIO, data science for enterprises company MinHash, and a "smart" iPhone calendar app called Tempo AI that automatically added context such as contacts and documents to calendar items. Salesforce has also hired away some of LinkedIn's data science talent. Forrester Research principal analyst Mike Gualtieri told InformationWeek in an interview that Salesforce is keeping pace with consumer-focused Internet giants like Google and Facebook with these acquisitions.
Terms were not disclosed, but it has all the markings of an "acqhire" sort of deal. Founder and CTO Richard Socher announced the deal in a post on the MetaMind website. Socher says on his personal website that his new title is Chief Scientist at Salesforce. MetaMind's area of expertise is deep learning, the subset of artificial intelligence focused on data processing that is en vogue with Google, Facebook and other tech companies. The startup's specialty is natural language processing -- allowing computers to analyze relationships between words.
Inc. (CRM - Analyst Report) acquired MetaMind, a start-up specialized in offering "deep-learning" services. However, the financial terms of the deal remain under wraps. Founded in 2014, MetaMind received a combined investment of 8 million from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures in December the same year. MetaMind's "deep-learning" AI technique, according to Bloomberg "helps business users employ deep learning technology, which trains networks of computers to mimic the human brain's ability to recognize and analyze pictures or text without explicit instructions". MetaMind's technology and tools span natural language and image recognitions which help users to analyze data and make better decisions.