Apple Acquires AI Firm Xnor For $200 Million


Smartphone major Apple has acquired artificial-intelligence startup for $200 million. Both Apple and Xnor are yet to make a confirmation on the same. Xnor was founded by Ali Farhadi and Mohammad Rastegari in 2016 as an AI firm that allows companies to run complex deep learning algorithms. With the deal, Apple will get access to low-power AI tools for image recognition in cameras.

The firm had secured $14.6 million in financing with its last round of funding coming in March 2018 when Madrona Venture Group led the $12 million Series A round. NGP Capital, Autotech Ventures, and Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence are the other backers of the firm.

GeekWire reported that when their team visited the office of Xnor, one could clearly visualize the planning of change going on. The reports suggested that post the confirmation of the deal, the employees of Xnor will be joining Apple’s Seattle offices.

Apple can use Xnor's AI-enabled image recognition tools in its future iPhones and webcams. Its camera software makes extensive use of machine learning algorithms for taking the picture and processing it. As per Forbes, the firm is US' 44 ranked most promising AI startup. The firm had bagged a number of anecdotes in 2019 including the nomination for an AI innovation award.

Notably, Apple had acquired Turi, another AI-powered startup that worked along the similar lines of Xnor in 2016 and it had paid $200 million for that deal too. It will be interesting to see how things plan out after the deal and how Apple utilizes the expertise of Xnor’s team.


Image Courtesy : StartupWorld


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