These nine companies have acquired the most AI startups

Tech is a concentrated industry, and a recent study by CB Insights illustrates the extent to which this is the case.

According to the New York City-based machine intelligence-supported research firm’s latest research into artificial intelligence (AI) startup acquisitions, Google and Apple have been the top buyers of AI startups, with 14 and 13 acquisitions respectively between 2012 and 2017.

They’re followed by six other well-known tech giants, which have each acquired between four and six startups during the same period: Facebook, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Twitter, and Salesforce, with media monitoring and business intelligence software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Meltwater rounding out the list of top nine.

In its analysis of the data, published on Feb. 27, CB Insights noted that Meltwater was not only the smallest company on the list, but the only private one as well.

“Meltwater is strategically using AI to monitor digital media and analyze brand sentiment and competitor activity,” the organization said.

In addition to publishing an infographic illustrating its findings, which can be seen below, CB Insights included a chart of the companies acquired divided by acquirer and country.

Only three of the startups acquired were Canadian: DNNresearch, founded by University of Toronto professor Geoffrey Hinton, which Google acquired in 2013; Granata Decision Systems, acquired by Google in 2015; and Montreal-based Maluuba, now known as Microsoft Research Montreal, which the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant acquired in 2017.

Courtesy CB Insights (click for larger version).

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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