Salesforce-SF30598LOGO-300x282Salesforce has acquired artificial-intelligence startup MetaMind, a company which provides deep-learning services. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

MetaMind, which was launched in late 2014, uses deep learning technology, a method which unites neural network architectures with massive compute power. The combination allows the company’s software to learn a pattern from large datasets and make statistical predictions.  The acquisition will help Salesforce offer AI capabilities to further automate and personalise customer support, marketing and several other business processes. MetaMind will expand Salesforce’s data science capabilities by embedding deep learning within the Salesforce platform.

Salesforce is planning to integrate MetaMind’s technology into its services.

MetaMind has both paid and unpaid users. For unpaid web users, the company’s products will be discontinued on 4 May.  For its monthly recurring users, MetaMind’s products will be discontinued on 4 June. The company said it will delete any data stored for unpaid web users and monthly recurring users after completion of the deal.

MetaMind raised $8m in December 2014 from Khosla Ventures and Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff.  MetaMind cofounder and chief executive Richard Socher said in a blog post: “We couldn’t be more excited to join Salesforce. “We plan to continue our AI research, so you’ll continue to see us publish groundbreaking discoveries that advance our deep learning platform’s accuracy and capabilities.”

Salesforce is increasing its focus on machine learning and automation as it plans to make more acquisitions:  In 2014, Salesforce paid up to $390m to acquire data-driven startup RelateIQ, which used a relationship intelligence platform to automatically capture data from email, calendars and smartphone calls to provide users with insights into their working lives in real-time.  The acquisition is less than the $2.5bn Salesforce paid for online market ExactTarget in 2013 and more than the $326m it paid for social media monitoring firm Radian6 Technologies in 2011.

Last month, Salesforce acquired open source machine learning startup PredictionIO.  PredictionIO’s machine learning platform will extend SalesforceIQ’s machine learning capabilities and improve intelligence across the Salesforce clouds.

Salesforce expects its revenue to top $8bn during fiscal year 2017, in line with its plans to reach $10bn faster than any other enterprise software company.