Cisco has acquired MindMeld Inc., a privately held artificial intelligence (AI) company based in San Francisco, for $125 million in cash and assumed equity awards.
MindMeld’s AI platform enables customers to build intelligent and human-like conversational interfaces for any application or device. Through its proprietary machine learning (ML) technology, MindMeld help users interact with voice and chat assistants in a more natural way.
As chat and voice quickly become the interfaces of choice, MindMeld’s AI technology will enable Cisco to deliver unique experiences throughout its portfolio, starting with collaboration. This acquisition will power new conversational interfaces for Cisco’s collaboration products, revolutionizing how users will interact with our technology, increasing ease of use, and enabling new cognitive capabilities. For example, users will be able to interact with Cisco Spark via natural language commands, providing an experience that is highly customized to the user and their work. Together, Cisco and MindMeld can bring voice AI to meeting rooms throughout the world, where Cisco’s near-ubiquitous presence of video and telephony hardware will help increase adoption of AI technology across the workplace.
“The workplace of the future is one powered by AI,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president, Cisco IoT and Applications Group. “This is a significant step toward making that workplace a reality. Integrating MindMeld into the Cisco Spark platform will transform how users interact in Cisco Spark Spaces, Cisco Spark Meetings, and Cisco Spark Care.”
The MindMeld team will join the Cloud Collaboration group under the leadership of Jens Meggers, senior vice president and general manager, as the Cognitive Collaboration team.
The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco’s fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, following customary closing conditions and regulatory review.