IBM Acquires Cognitive Computing Startup AlchemyAPI
IBM has acquired Denver-based AlchemyAPI, a cognitive computing company that delivers a wide variety of text and image analysis capabilities via API (application program interface). Financial terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. This is IBM's second major acquisition in the field of software analytics after it bought AI startup Cognea, maker of virtual assistants for mobile devices.
The deal would give IBM an additional technology to supplement its industry-leading data analysis tool and help expand Watson's cloud development platform, giving developers the ability to create new business applications on the top of the Watson Cognitive platform using AlchemyAPI technologies. It also gives IBM access to much bigger crowd - about 40,000 AlchemyAPI developers, who are building smart apps, which the company defines as systems that learn, deeply understand the world's conversations and interact naturally with people to extend what either humans or machine could do on their own.
IBM is trying to build a big business around Watson, it plans to integrate AlchemyAPI's technology and build the technology into the core Watson Cognitive computing platform, tapping advanced data analysis capabilities such as keyword extraction, sentiment analysis and web page cleaning.
AlchemyAPI, founded in 2005 and based in Denver, is a fast selling startup that uses machine learning (deep learning) to do natural language processing for its clients both over the cloud and on-promises. Deep learning is one of several types of computing that AlchemyAPI can perform and the type that likely looks most fascinating to IBM as a way to distinguish itself from other major cloud players and rivals - AWS, Google, Microsoft, etc. AlchemyAPI employs around 20 people and claims to have clients in 36 countries and process over 3 billion of API calls each month across 36 countries and 8 languages. It provides application program interface or API services that are used by more than 40,000 developers.
Before the acquisition, AlchemyAPI has taken on less than $2 million in external funding from Access Ventures Partners and AlchemyAPI CEO Elliot Turner. Its customer includes CrisisNet, Pocket, Spiderbook, Tabelog, Waggener Edstrom, publishing company Hearst and image agency Shutterstock.
Image Courtesy of: PCMag