Salesforce just bought another startup in the machine learning space

Salesforce, Marc Benioff speakingBusiness InsiderSalesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Salesforce just agreed to buy a small startup called PredictionIO, a software maker that helps developers build predictive applications.

The announcement was made through PredictionIO’s blog post. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PredictionIO’s website says it’s a maker of open source software for machine learning apps. That means anyone could use or modify the designs of its software to build an app that does a lot of data analytics and predictive work. The company said its technology will remain open source and free for all users even after the acquisition.

This is Salesforce’s first acquisition of the year. In December, Salesforce spent roughly $360 million to buy SteelBrick, a sales software maker.

The addition of PredictionIO will help Salesforce expand its data analysing and predictive capabilities. In the blog post, PredictionIO’s CEO Simon Chan said its technology will be used to “extend SalesforceIQ’s machine learning capabilities and enhance intelligence across the Salesforce clouds.” Salesforce IQ is one of Salesforce’s services that makes life easier for sales reps by automating a lot of the data input process.

Data analysis has been one of the main focus areas for Salesforce in recent years. It recently launched Wave, its first data analysing platform, and IoT Cloud, a service that helps collect and sift through data from connected devices. Salesforce acquired other machine learning technology startups MinHash and Tempo AI last year, after spending $390 million on RelateIQ the year before.

PredictionIO was founded in 2014 and raised $2.65 million so far, according to Crunchbase. Salesforce wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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