Intel continues to snap up startups to construct out its machine studying and AI operations. Within the newest transfer, TechCrunch has realized that the chip big has acquired Cnvrg.io, an Israeli firm that has constructed and operates a platform for knowledge scientists to construct and run machine studying fashions, which can be utilized to coach and observe a number of fashions and run comparisons on them, construct suggestions and extra.
Intel confirmed the acquisition to us with a brief notice. “We will verify that we’ve acquired Cnvrg,” a spokesperson mentioned. “Cnvrg shall be an impartial Intel firm and can proceed to serve its present and future clients.” These clients include Lightricks, ST Unitas and Playtika.
Intel just isn’t disclosing any monetary phrases of the deal, nor who from the startup will be part of Intel. Cnvrg, co-founded by Yochay Ettun (CEO) and Leah Forkosh Kolben, had raised $8 million from buyers that embody Hanaco Enterprise Capital and Jerusalem Enterprise Companions, and PitchBook estimates that it was valued at round $17 million in its final spherical.
It was solely every week in the past that Intel made another acquisition to spice up its AI enterprise, additionally within the space of machine studying modeling: it picked up SigOpt, which had developed an optimization platform to run machine studying modeling and simulations.
Whereas SigOpt relies out of the Bay Space, Cnvrg is in Israel, and joins an intensive footprint that Intel has constructed within the nation, particularly within the space of synthetic intelligence analysis and improvement, banked round its Mobileye autonomous automobile enterprise (which it acquired for more than $15 billion in 2017) and its acquisition of AI chipmaker Habana (which it acquired for $2 billion at the end of 2019).
Cnvrg.io’s platform works throughout on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments and it is available in paid and free tiers (we covered the launch of the free service, branded Core, final yr). It competes with the likes of Databricks, Sagemaker and Dataiku, in addition to smaller operations like H2O.ai which might be constructed on open-source frameworks. Cnvrg’s premise is that it gives a user-friendly platform for knowledge scientists to allow them to consider devising algorithms and measuring how they work, not constructing or sustaining the platform they run on.
Whereas Intel just isn’t saying a lot concerning the deal, plainly a number of the similar logic behind final week’s SigOpt acquisition applies right here as nicely: Intel has been refocusing its enterprise round next-generation chips to higher compete in opposition to the likes of Nvidia and smaller gamers like GraphCore. So it is sensible to additionally present/spend money on AI instruments for patrons, particularly companies to assist with the compute hundreds that they are going to be working on these chips.
It’s notable that in our article concerning the Core free tier final yr, Frederic famous that these utilizing the platform within the cloud can accomplish that with Nvidia-optimized containers that run on a Kubernetes cluster. It’s not clear if that may proceed to be the case, or if containers shall be optimized as a substitute for Intel structure, or each. Cnvrg’s different companions embody Purple Hat and NetApp.
Intel’s deal with the following technology of computing goals to offset declines in its legacy operations. Within the final quarter, Intel reported a 3% decline in its revenues, led by a drop in its knowledge middle enterprise. It mentioned that it’s projecting the AI silicon market to be greater than $25 billion by 2024, with AI silicon within the knowledge middle to be higher than $10 billion in that interval.
In 2019, Intel reported some $3.8 billion in AI-driven income, however it hopes that instruments like SigOpt’s will assist drive extra exercise in that enterprise, dovetailing with the push for extra AI purposes in a wider vary of companies.