Kaggle, a company that hosts data science and machine learning contests, has been acquired by Google.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the official announcement on the part of Google and Kaggle could come this week. Kaggle cofounder and Chief Executive Anthony Goldbloom did not deny the pending acquisition when reached by phone by TechCrunch, although Google did decline to “comment on rumors.”
Kaggle has around a half a million data scientists taking part in competition on its platform, and while it does have competition from the likes of DrivenData, TopCoder and HackerRank, it is ahead of the pack because it focused on a specific niche of running data science and machine learning contests, reported TechCrunch. The report noted Google is getting one of the biggest and most active data scientists’ community and will get access to more mindshare.
Earlier in March Kaggle and Google teamed up to run a machine learning competition focused on classifying YouTube videos with a prize of $100,000 going to the winner. TechCrunch noted that once Google acquires Kaggle, it’s expected to keep the contests going. Based on data from Crunchbase, Kaggle has raised $12.5 million in venture funding since it went live in 2010. Some of the investors in Kaggle include Index Ventures, SV Angel, Max Levchin, Naval Ravikant, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian, Khosla Ventures and Yuri Milner, reported TechCrunch.
The potential deal comes at a time when Google is facing backlash from regulators outside of the U.S. and consumer groups. Earlier this week the Open Internet Project (OIP), the consortium that claims to speak for 400 companies and groups in Europe, filed a complaint against Google for the second time due to its Android operating system. According to a report in TechCrunch, the group filed its second complaint against Google, arguing that if smartphone makers or telecom carriers want to developed an unofficial version of Google’s mobile operating system, they are hurt because the version can’t carry Google Play store, which is the main distribution platform for Android-based apps.