Salesforce acquires technology startup PredictionIO

February 20
10:27 PM 2016

Salesforce has acquired PredictionIO, a Palo Alto-based startup to build its technology application in machine learning and big data analytics. PredictionIO is the 36th acquisition for Salesforce.

PredictionIO has developed an open source-based machine learning server and for building machine learning muscle. Simon Chan, CEO and co-founder of Salesforce, is keen on building its own machine learning capabilities as part of SalesforceIQ. The machine learning capabilities will be used in-house and in products for Salesforce customers.

Tech Crunch reports that Salesforce will also serve its third-party developers. The PredictionIO startup's team including co-founders Donald Szeto, Kenneth Chan and Thomas Stone will join Salesforce as soon as the transaction closes. PredictionIO can be compared with MySQL for machine learning. 

Salesforce is in the process of making few more acquisitions in big data analytics and machine learning space. It acquired RelateIQ for $390 million in 2014. The latest acquisition of PredictionIO is the 36th buyout for Salesforce.

While confirming the acquisition without divulging further details, a Salesforce spokesperson said: "Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PredictionIO, but don't have anything to share beyond (PredictionIO's) blog post at this point."

Salesforce started off as a passion project and now transformed into a machine learning technology entity. The community has over 8,000 developers powering over 400 apps, as reported by Venturebeat. "Over the past few years, we have been on a mission to scale and simply development of machine learning technology. We're so thankful for this community and the support you've given us," said Chan. 

The startup received seed round of $2.5 million 2014. The company's product is open source and affordable and faster for developers. It enables developers build machine learning-based products such as recommendation or prediction engines. 

Chan said: "Two things will be happening post-acquisition. First, PredictionIO's tech will remain open source and free to use, while the team works on evolving the project into a self-sustaining community."

MarketWatch further reports that PredictionIO has developed a server with open-source machine learning technology and will retain the technology open source after the acquisition. Salesforce's stock on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) rose 0.71 percent to $62.14 on Friday. Machine learning is a basic form of artificial intelligence. Computers are trained with artificial intelligence to act without specific programming. 

The PredictionIO Cluster software on AWS Cloudformation will ease to $0 and there's no information available on whether Salesforce develops and supports a paid enterprise edition or not. Secondly, PredictionI0 will be put to work for Salesforce itself as it becomes a part of PredictionIO's machine learning capabilities. 

The list of investors at PredictionIO includes 500 startups, StartX, Sood Ventures and CrunchFund, headed up by TechCrunch's former editor and founder, Michael Arrington.

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