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Salesforce (CRM) Boosts AI Capabilities with MetaMind Buy

Making a strong push toward enhancing its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, the world’s leading CRM platform provider, salesforce.com, Inc. CRM acquired MetaMind, a start-up specialized in offering “deep-learning” services. However, the financial terms of the deal remain under wraps.

Founded in 2014, MetaMind received a combined investment of $8 million from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures in December the same year.

MetaMind’s “deep-learning” AI technique, according to Bloomberg “helps business users employ deep learning technology, which trains networks of computers to mimic the human brain’s ability to recognize and analyze pictures or text without explicit instructions”.

MetaMind’s technology and tools span natural language and image recognitions which help users to analyze data and make better decisions. Therefore, the acquisition will help Salesforce offer enhanced AI solutions to customers.

According to a blog post by MetaMind’s co-founder and CEO Richard Socher, its services will shut down on May 4 for unpaid web users while monthly recurring users can access them till Jun 4.

Machine learning is currently a hot trend in the tech space and several big technology companies like Facebook FB, Microsoft MSFT and Alphabet aka Google GOOGL are grabbing a share of the pie either through acquisitions or in-house research.

Therefore, in the last two years, Salesforce has been investing heavily to enhance its machine learning capabilities. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company took a major step in 2014 when it acquired RelateIQ which specialized in making predictive tools.

Last year’s acquisitions of Tempo and MinHash start-ups further enhanced the company’s AI capabilities. Moreover, most recently, Salesforce took over another start-up, PredictionIO, which has developed an open source-based machine learning software.

Investments in start-ups have always been one of Salesforce’s key growth strategies. Over the past few years, the company either acquired or partnered with many such companies. According to a report by TechCrunch, since 2009, Salesforce Ventures, the company’s investment arm, has invested about $500 million in more than 150 enterprise start-ups.

Further, last October, Salesforce Ventures announced its plan to invest $100 million specifically in European start-ups to fuel cloud innovation and gain customers in the region.

We believe that Salesforce’s sustained focus on expanding its business through strategic acquisitions and investments will drive growth in the long run.

However, stiff competition, currency fluctuations and stepped-up investments in international expansions and data centers could impact near-term results.

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