Tech giant Apple Inc. has acquired Hyderabad-based machine learning startup Tuplejump as part of efforts to boost its artificial intelligence capabilities.
The development was first reported by tech news portal TechCrunch.
The startup, which had a dozen employees, was launched by three Indian engineers—Rohit Rai, Satyaprakash Buddhavarappu and Deepak Alur—in 2013.
The first two co-founders have joined Apple while Alur is now working with US cloud-tech firm Anaplan.
Terms of this deal are not clear. TechCircle was not immediately able to contact the Seattle-based founders. The company’s website no longer exists.
Rai had earlier founded software firm Tinge-n-Dab in 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile. Rai is an engineering graduate from PES College of Engineering in Karnataka.
Buddhavarappu, who worked with Rai at Pramati Technologies, is an engineering graduate from Merit International Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu.
Alur, who is the head of engineering at Anaplan, previously worked with Sun Microsystems in US and has a master’s degree from Stanford University.
Tuplejump was into machine learning, data visualisation, analytics, software and big data; tuple means a sequence of data. The startup apparently had Fortune 500 companies as clients.
Last year, in an interview to a blog, Helena Edelson, Tuplejump’s vice president of product engineering had said that the startup offered international consulting services to companies and also had a platform and services supporting big data blending and fast analytics. She is also working with Apple now, according to her Twitter profile.
This is Apple’s third buyout in the artificial intelligence (AI) segment this year. Earlier, it had bought Turi Inc. for $200 million and Emotient for an undisclosed amount.
Global tech giants have acquired a number of niche tech startups from India in the recent past. In 2014, Google Inc. bought cybersecurity specialist Impermium while social media firm Facebook Inc. acquired Little Eye Labs, which was developing mobile app analysis tools. Yahoo Inc. acquired online document creation software company BookPad while micro-blogging platform Twitter bought mobile-based marketing platform ZipDial last year.
Sanjoy Sen, doctoral research scholar at Aston Business School, UK, said that Apple’s acquisition of Tuplejump shows how global giants will “beat a path to the door of much smaller and apparently insignificant organisations, wherever they may be located around the world, to acquire niche capabilities for strategic advantage”.
“Any niche capability or innovative solution or even super-specialist talent will make it an attractive target for collaboration or acquisition and this has little to do with organisational size or fame,” Sen said.
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