Figure Eight Acquired by Appen for $300 Million

Appen Ltd., a Sydney, Australia based company that develops human-annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence, has announced it is purchasing San Francisco based Figure Eight, a machine learning platform.

Figure Eight will remain an independent company thought 2019, then it will be integrated into Appen thereafter, according to the acquiring company.

Appen’s purchase of Figure Eight combines the scale, quality and language knowledge of the acquirer’s global crowd with Figure Eight’s data annotation platform, resulting in a unique, end-to-end training data offering. It will be able to deliver quality and speed requirements for training data to support machine learning and AI.

“The union of Appen and Figure Eight creates a unique, exciting and powerful opportunity for our customers,” said Appen CEO Mark Brayan, in a statement. “We now have the best of both worlds: our highly efficient cloud management platform and scalable, skillful multilingual crowd, combined with Figure Eight’s innovative customer facing SaaS platform with ML-assisted annotation. Combined, we’ll meet and exceed our customers’ scale, speed and quality requirements.”

“We’re very excited to be joining Appen,” said Lukas Biewald, co-founder of Figure Eight, which was launched in 2007. “I’m extremely proud of the team. This is a genuine validation of everything we’ve achieved and a great platform for our teams to combine and continue to do amazing things in AI.

Appen is paying $300 million for Figure Eight. This is comprised of an upfront payment of $175 million, and an additional payment of $125 million based on its 2019 performance.


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