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solzberg in Mergers & Acquisitions,

Salesforce acquires MetaMind to enhance AI expertise, a US-based provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions, announced that it had acquired MetaMind, a start-up specializing in offering “deep-learning” services, to enhance its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. However, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Bloomberg, MetaMind’s “deep-learning” AI technique allows to 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.

To note, machine learning is currently a hot trend in the tech space and several big technology companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet are grabbing a share of the pie either through acquisitions or in-house research. As for Salesforce, the company took a major step in 2014 when it acquired RelateIQ specializing 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 develops 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 mn in more than 150 enterprise start-ups. Further, last October, Salesforce Ventures announced its plan to invest $100 mn specifically in European start-ups to fuel cloud innovation and gain customers in the region.

I believe that Salesforce’s sustained focus on expanding its business through strategic acquisitions and investments will drive growth in the long run. I expect that the company’s shares will comtinue to rise, with medium-term target at $80.