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eBay acquires AI-powered big data processor Expertmaker

TechCrunch TechCrunch 5/05/2016 Devin Coldewey

eBay announced today that it is acquiring Expertmaker, a Swedish company that specializes in analysis of big data with a machine-learning twist.

Expertmaker was founded in 2006; in its own words, the company’s “genetics-inspired multi-AI approach, extracts hidden value in your data.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. So if you have a ton of noisy data, as eBay most certainly does, these are the guys who can wrangle it and produce something useful.

One application hypothesized by eBay is filling in product info that might otherwise not be listed. A toy, for example, might not have color, age range, or material in its description, but that data can be found elsewhere and applied so shoppers can sort by those categories. The online retailer is actually already a client, and apparently liked the milk so much they decided to buy the cow. (Unfortunately, there are no startups that prevent news writers from clumsily repurposing common idiom.)

Lars Hard, Expertmaker’s founder, will continue on as head of the team, though the company will operate under eBay’s Structured Data initiative, which is led by Amit Menipaz. The rest of Expertmaker’s employees will, mercifully, be allowed to continue working from their office in Malmö.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it should be finalized in Q2 FY16, so expect details then.

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