[Numbers] How many AI start-ups have been bought by tech giants since 2012?

by bold-lichterman

  • Since 2012, the American tech giants have bought 216 start-ups specializing in artificial intelligence, according to CB Insights.

  • In 2016 alone, 77 acquisitions were identified, and in the first quarter of 2017, 34 transactions have already been completed.
  • This is Google which made the most acquisitions in the field, with 11 companies acquired over the past 5 years.

The American tech giants have entered a real race for artificial intelligence. Beyond the internal R&D efforts they deploy – the GAFAMs have filed more than 52,000 patents in this field since 2009 – companies are also interested in artificial intelligence start-ups that are being created on a massive scale.

In total, over the past 5 years, 216 start-ups specializing in AI have been bought out by tech companies, according to CB Insights data. With 77 acquisitions recorded in 2016 alone, more than a third of the transactions carried out over the past 5 years have taken place in the space of one year. And this trend of accelerating acquisitions seems to be confirmed in 2017, with 34 transactions recorded over the first three months of the year.

cb-insghts-ia-startups-acquisitions-20170529If we look at companies that have deployed such a strategy of external growth, Google comes out on top, with no less than 11 acquisitions made over the past 5 years. The company is also very active in R&D, with 80 AI patents filed since 2014.

Apple comes in second place, with a total of 7 transactions recorded since 2012. The Apple-based firm has filed “only” 23 patents in the field of artificial intelligence since 2014. Finally, Intel, Microsoft and Facebook are neck and neck, with 2 to 3 acquisitions made over the past 5 years.

Sources: CB Insights, Venture Beat

Read also: How many patents have GAFAMs filed on AI?

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