Microsoft Confirms SwiftKey Acquisition (For $250M In Money)
Microsoft at the moment confirmed that it has acquired SwiftKey — a startup based mostly out of London that makes keyboard apps for Android and iOS units and is already put in and used on some 300 million units. The phrases of the deal aren’t being disclosed however sources near the deal inform us it’s $250 million in money after Microsoft beat out different consumers, which we’ve heard additionally included Apple.
The deal will see Microsoft make additional inroads into cellular productiveness providers — an space the place it’s already made different acquisitions to realize floor, similar to Wunderlist and Acompli.
However from what we perceive, SwiftKey may additionally turn out to be a part of one other Microsoft ambition. Microsoft needs develop use of its Cortana digital assistant on Android, and by integrating Cortana into SwiftKey, some consider that it might be the gateway ramping up Cortana use with out having to put in a standalone app. (Cortana, by the way, is being built-in elsewhere, too.)
The information of the upcoming sale was first damaged by the FT final night time.
The exit additionally raises some questions concerning the whether or not intelligent know-how is sufficient for a startup to be a viable, standalone enterprise: SwiftKey had began as a paid app however ultimately moved right into a freemium mannequin to draw extra customers. It’s not clear what sorts of returns the startup was getting on that mannequin. Extra to the purpose: becoming a member of a a lot bigger platform like Microsoft will give the corporate the area to develop tech which will match into a much bigger marketing strategy that depends much less on Swiftkey as a standalone service.
Within the occasion, SwiftKey will persevering with doing what it does, with the entire staff becoming a member of Microsoft and turning into part of the corporate’s ambitions to personal the cellular productiveness area — an space underscored by its earlier acquisitions of Wunderlist and Acompli. Particularly, within the coming months, it’ll get built-in with Microsoft’s Phrase Circulate know-how for Home windows.
“On this cloud-first, cellular-first world, SwiftKey’s know-how aligns with our imaginative and prescient for extra private computing experiences that anticipate our wants versus responding to our instructions, and instantly helps our ambition to reinvent productiveness by leveraging the clever cloud,” Harry Shum, EVP of know-how and analysis, stated in a weblog submit. He says that SwiftKey estimates that its customers have saved almost 10 trillion keystrokes, throughout one hundred languages, saving greater than one hundred,000 years in mixed typing time.
Shum provides that Microsoft will proceed to supply its apps throughout totally different platforms, and it’s a protected guess that we’ll see it built-in into Home windows merchandise, too.
“We’ll proceed to develop SwiftKey’s market-main keyboard apps for Android and iOS in addition to discover situations for the mixing of the core know-how throughout the breadth of our product and providers portfolio,” he writes. “Furthermore, SwiftKey’s predictive know-how aligns with Microsoft’s investments and ambition to develop clever techniques that may work extra on the consumer’s behalf and underneath their management.”
SwiftKey cofounders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock even have some phrases to say on the information.
SwiftKey had raised slightly below $22 million from buyers that embrace Index, Accel and Octopus. From what we perceive, a few of these buyers realised there was a window of alternative with Microsoft when the Home windows software program big began buying different corporations targeted on cellular productiveness and clever processing that leveraged cloud structure.
SwiftKey then proceeded to go-hunted James Bromley, then MD of MailOnline, to return on board as COO to shepherd the method of coping with Microsoft and different potential consumers.