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Salesforce Acquires MetaMind

TechCrunch TechCrunch 4/04/2016 Connie Loizos

MetaMind, a Palo Alto-based AI startup founded in July 2014, is being acquired by Salesforce.

According to a new post published at the company’s website by CEO Richard Socher — a Stanford PhD who studied machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision — Salesforce plans to use its technology to “further automate and personalize customer support, marketing automation, and many other business processes. [MetaMind will] extend Salesforce’s data science capabilities by embedding deep learning within the Salesforce platform.”

Salesforce just confirmed the deal but it isn’t disclosing financial details of the transaction or commenting on whether MetaMind’s entire team will join its ranks.

As a standalone company, MetaMind’s general purpose platform was designed to predict outcomes for language, vision and database tasks.

For unpaid web users, Socher says, MetaMind’s products will be discontinued on May 4. For its monthly recurring users, MetaMind’s products will be discontinued on June 4. The company says it will delete any data it has stored for unpaid web users and monthly recurring users after April 11.

MetaMind had raised $8 million from investors, shows CrunchBase. Its backers include Khosla Ventures and (notably) Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

Earlier in his career, while still at Stanford, Socher helped create ImageNet, an image database that AI researchers still use to compare their image-recognition software in an annual online competition. Last year it was won by a group of researchers at the Microsoft Research laboratory in Beijing.

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