AI giant, Microsoft (Washington, US) recently acquired the California-based, AI startup, Lobe Artificial Intelligence, Inc. With the increasing integration of AI technologies within various application across major industry verticals, there is rising demand for effective ways that will help users to integrate AI capabilities easily and effectively. This acquisition would enable Microsoft to strengthen its imperatives of putting simple and effective AI development into the hands of non-engineers and non-experts.
Lobe, a startup focusing on providing an easy-to-use visual tool that allows developers to build custom deep learning models, which would help in providing quick training to the models/algorithm and export it to app without writing any code. Lobe’s simple visual user interface enables users to effortlessly create intelligent apps that can understand hand gestures, hear music, read handwriting, and more.
MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:
The objective of the acquisition is to strengthen Microsoft AI capabilities to enhance its cognitive capabilities and revenue growth. Moreover, in line with this acquisition, offering of Lobe aligns with Microsoft’s existing Azure ML Studio platform, which also offers a drag-and-drop interface for building machine learning models. Through the Lobe’s acquisition, Microsoft aims to further solidify its position in the AI market.
According to MarketsandMarkets™, the AI as a service market would be worth USD 10.88 billion by 2023, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 48.2% during the forecast period of 2018–2023, owing to need to reduce infrastructure costs and analyze large volumes of data to formulate various growth strategies, increasing need for intelligent business applications, growing demand for AI service integrators, growing number of innovative startups, and growing demand for AI-powered services in the form of APIs, SDKs, and easily accessible tools.
“The ease offered by software tools to leverage the AI capabilities in various application areas across major industry verticals is fueling the growth of AI as a service market. Leading vendors in AI ecosystem are coming up with innovative ways, wherein no non-technical users can also integrate the AI capabilities into their offering with drag and drop software tools,” says Nipun Nikunj – Team Lead, ICT at MarketsandMarkets™.
The global AI marketspace has witnessed disruptions through a flurry of strategic deals among its major players. In 2018, apart from Lobe, Microsoft also acquired other startups including, Semantic Machines and Bonsai to strengthen its AI portfolio. Similarly, other AI giant Google has also acquired Velostrata an Israeli- based startup in 2018 to strengthen Google Cloud offerings. Finally, Microsoft acquiring Lobe would certainly help the users to seamlessly integrate the deep learning capabilities into their application. The combination of Microsoft and Lobe offering makes a strong case for organizations to choose it as their preferred technology partner.