Google Close to Invest in Messaging Startup Symphony
Google, which has now morphed into holding company Alphabet, is in late stage of discussions to make an investment in California-based messaging startup Symphony Communication Services. Post investment, Symphony will be valued at around $650 million. The deal amount is still undisclosed by both the firms.
Symphony has built a cloud-based messaging service that allows financial firms, corporate customers and individuals to put all of their digital communications on one centralized platform. It is directly in competition with Bloomberg Terminal. The company is backed by 15 Wall Street banks and financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and Citi, which together have so far invested about $66 million.
Its services are available to businesses with more than 50 users for $15 per user per month. Smaller businesses and individuals can use the tool free of cost.
Apple Buys Artificial Intelligence Startup Perceptio
Apple has acquired artificial intelligence startup Perceptio, that makes image recognition technology for smartphones. Perceptio’s technology enables phones to do advanced calculations without storing user data in the cloud.
Apple confirmed the acquisition and the company’s spokesperson, Colin Johnson said that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
On Friday, Apple had acquired another AI company – VocalIQ, a UK-based software startup developing technology to help computers understand human speech. In May 2015, to bolster its virtual reality and augmented reality efforts, Apple acquired Metaio. Google, Facebook and Microsoft are all engaged in an AI arms race.