Apple has acquired Laserlike, a small machine learning startup based in Silicon Valley. The Information reports that the buyout happened late last year, and the teams joined Apple’s new artificial intelligence group.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition of the four-year-old startup, which was founded by three former Google engineers, Anand Shukla, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Steven Baker, and had raised more than $24 million from Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures, according to CrunchBase. Terms of the deal could not be learned. Laserlike had built a smartphone app, now no longer available in Google and Apple’s mobile app stores, that let users follow topics in which they were interested, such as news, music and sports.
Apple’s AI team is headed by former Google Search chief John Giannadrea. Since joining the iPhone-maker last year he has overseen a significant overhaul of the Siri group. Reports suggest Mr. Giannadrea is encouraging the group to focus focus more on long-term research instead of incremental updates.
Source: The Information