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Twitter's $150M Machine-Learning Acquisition

Twitter is bolstering its machine learning capabilities with the new acquisition of Magic Pony Technology.

Twitter is bolstering its machine-learning capabilities with the new acquisition of Magic Pony Technology.

The London-based company provides neural network solutions for advanced visual processing. Twitter is planning to use Magic Pony in development of a new product in which people can easily find new experiences to share and participate in.

In a blog post, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Magic Pony's acquisition will strengthen its live video streaming capabilities through the algorithms developed by the startup that have superior understanding of imagery. "The team includes 11 PhDs with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing and computational neuroscience, who are alumni of some of the top labs in the world."

Magic Pony is the third machine-learning startup that Twitter has acquired in the last two years. In July 2014, the company acquired Madbits, and in June 2015, it acquired Whetlab.

While details of the deal weren't revealed, TechCrunch estimates it be close to $150 million.

The startup has previously attracted investments from Balderton, Entrepreneur First and Octopus Ventures.

Balderton Partner Suranga Chandratillake suggested that acquiring the startup is a strategic move for Twitter as it looks into strengthening its video capabilities. “Twitter has gone after video in a big way, and buying Magic Pony demonstrates how important video is for them. That’s the key thing,” he told TechCrunch.

The acquisition also gives Twitter the scope to venture out in augmented and virtual reality in the future. “Magic Pony was already working on a pretty substantial VR and AR strategy before they were acquired and have some very interesting tech in that area,” Chandratillake said.

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