Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) Acquires Artificial Intelligence Firm MindMeld

Jay Anderson
May 18, 2017

"We are already leveraging AI/ML in new and exciting ways in existing products, from our SpeakerTrack to our VoiceTrack technologies", said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of Cisco IoT and Applications group, in a blog post yesterday.

Cisco said users will be able to interact with Cisco Spark via natural language commands, providing an experience that is highly customised to the user and their work. "MindMeld has written the book on these technologies and has built the world's best conversational user interface platform". MindMeld, an artificial intelligence (AI) company with 10 patent assets to its name, is known for its unique AI platform that lets customers create intelligent, human-like conversational interfaces for applications and devices, developed and advanced through its proprietary machine learning (ML) technology.

Big tech companies are plunking down lots of cash to bulk up in artificial intelligence and conversational software.

MindMeld specializes in developing conversational interfaces, such as those used to interact with chatbots providing customer support that are capable of supporting unstructured and semi-unstructured conversations.

MindMeld is led by CEO and founder Timothy Tuttle, who was also the founder of video search engine company Truveo, which was acquired by AOL in 2006 for an undisclosed amount.

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MindMeld had previously raised $15.4 million in venture capital financing from GV, Greylock Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Intel Capital, among others. The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal fourth quarter 2017, which ends in late July. "With MindMeld, we will enhance our Collaboration suite, adding new conversational interfaces to our collaboration products starting with Cisco Spark".

"MindMeld wrote of the acquisition: "...along with the utility of applied AI, has come a long way over the last five years, but this is only the beginning. In 2015, the networking giant pulled the acquisition trigger a whopping eleven times. The company purchased AppDynamics earlier this year for an astounding $3.7 billion.

Shares of Cisco Systems, Inc.

On May 1, Cisco revealed plans to acquire software-defined WAN startup Viptela for $610 million.

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