Open source machine learning software vendor PredictionIO has announced it is to become part of Salesforce. The Palo Alto start up has stressed that the software will continue to be available under an open source Apache license.
The addition of analytics and machine learning has become a key strategy to Salesforce as it bids to build on its cloud offerings. Last year BCN reported how Salesforce was adding new Wave Actions to its Analytics Cloud intelligence tool. More recently it bought machine learning companies RelateIQ and Tempo AI and integrated staff into its data science teams.
Machine learning, which can be used in many cloud applications, has become an area of contention in the cloud industry with other start ups in this area, such as H2O and Skytree, the subject of takeover rumours.
California based PredictionIO was formed in 2013 and a year later received $2.5 million in backing from investors including Azure Capital Partners. Other backers include CrunchFund, the Stanford-StartX Fund and Kima Ventures. Dropbox is PredictionIO’s most prominent client.
CEO Simon Chan explained the rationale for selling the firm on his company blog. As part of Salesforce, PredictionIO’s machine learning system will get immediate access to the entire Salesforce clouds. The opportunity to extend SalesforceIQ’s machine learning and intelligence was a chance not to be passed up, he said. “Being a part of Salesforce will give us an amazing opportunity to continue building our open source machine learning platform on a much larger scale,” said Chan.
Chan’s objective will be the same within Salesforce – to simplify development of machine learning technology and build it up. PredictionIO now has 8,000 developers creating over 400 apps. Chan pledged that PredictionIO’s open source technology will stay that way and will continue to be free to all users. To mark the Salesforce deal it is to dropping the PredictionIO Cluster software fee on AWS Cloudformation, which will is now free for the first time in the company’s history.