Appen to acquire Figure Eight Technologies

Appen to acquire Figure Eight Technologies

Local data nerds Appen make $430 million swoop on US rival Figure Eight

Figure Eight offers a "human-in-the-loop" machine learning platform that offers quality training data needed by ML and artificial intelligence services.

San Francisco-based Figure Eight will continue to operate as an independent business through the end of 2019.

The acquisition will consist of $250 million (US$175 million) of upfront consideration, plus additional contingent consideration of up to $178 million (US$125 million) payable in March 2020 - based on achievement of incremental FY19 subscription software revenue targets, making up to $430 million.

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Figure Eight is far less shy, listing Microsoft, Google, VMware, Facebook, Mozilla, Twitter and American Express as customers in its corporate brag book. Appen would be a great platform for the teams of Figure Eight to combine and keep on doing awesome things in AI. The company now has the best of both the worlds, i.e. the combination of Figure Eight's novel customer facing SaaS platform with ML-assisted annotation and Appen's skillful and scalable multilingual crowd and highly efficient cloud management platform.

Following that, in 2020 Figure Eight's team and technology will be fully integrated and become part of Appen's future growth.

Co-Founder of Figure Eight, Lukas Biewald, stated that this move was the genuine validation of everything the company had achieved. "This transaction is a genuine validation of everything we've achieved and a great platform for our teams to combine and continue to do wonderful things in AI". "In combination, we will not only meet but also exceed quality, speed, and scale requirements of customers", said Appen CEO, Mark Brayan.

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Appen has worldwide offices and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Appen brings over 20 years of experience capturing and enriching a wide variety of data types including speech, text, image and video.

Appen, an Australian provider and improver of data used for the development of machine learning and AI products, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of US machine intelligence company, Figure Eight. With deep expertise in more than 180 languages and access to a global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors, Appen partners with technology, automotive and eCommerce companies - as well as governments worldwide - to help them develop, enhance and use products that rely on natural languages and machine learning.

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