Facebook acquires Wit.ai, a startup created by 3 French people

by bold-lichterman

Alex Lebrun, Laurent Landowski and Willy Blandin announced the takeover of their company Wit.ai by Facebook. Their dream? Allow machines to understand languages ​​in order to interact with humans. Convinced that such a challenge cannot be solved in a centralized and closed approach, Wit.ai is an open development platform, in order to allow developers to build apps that their users can talk to.

6,000 developers have joined the platform, and a few hundred apps would use the solution. Facebook has just offered to join Wit.ai, for an undisclosed amount.

The solutions developed by the company should allow the social network to strengthen in voice recognition while Apple has Siri, Android of Google Now and Microsoft of Cortana on their mobile systems.

$ 3 million raised

Created at the end of October 2013 in Palo Alto, Wit.ai participated in the Y Combinator acceleration program and completed a $ 3 million funding round in October 2014 led by Andreessen Horowitz, and in which the investment fund participated French Alven Capital.

Alex Lebrun and Laurent Landowski are not at their first adventure in the field, with Virtuoz, a company which offered companies to create conversational agents on their sites in order to guide Internet users. Founded in Paris, Virtuoz had moved to San Francisco to ensure its international development following a funding round of 11.4 million dollars. The company was sold in early 2013 to Nuance.