Apple acquires Hyderabad based AI startup Tuplejump

Apple acquired a little-known Hyderabad-based startup a few months ago for an undisclosed amount and while little is known about what Tuplejump does, the word is that this is part of the Cupertino-based giant’s exploration into artificial intelligence.

Known in the trade as an acqui-hire, nearly all of Tuplejump’s 16 employees are in the process of becoming Apple staffers. A back-of-the-envelope calculation by an expert put the valuation at about $20 million (Rs 133 crore).

Tuplejump is Apple’s first acquisition in India. Including this, the iPhone-maker has bought three artificial intelligence companies this year, the others being Turi and Emotient.

Apple’s AI-based assistant Siri is facing increasing competition from similar services out of Google, Amazon and Microsoft. “If Apple is building a self-driving car that will also have machine-learning and AI in it, it is only natural for them to acquire talent around machine-learning and AI,” Shah said.

Tuplejump was founded in 2013 by Rohit Rai, Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu and Deepak Alur. While Rai and Buddhavarapu relocated to Apple’s office in Silicon Valley in May, Alur joined Premji Invest-backed Anaplan as engineering head. Rai and Buddhavarapu were equal partners in Tuplejump as of March 31, 2015.

The bootstrapped company reported a profit of about Rs 80,000 in 2014-15 on revenue of about Rs 70 lakh, according the company’s annual report. Experts anticipate more acquisitions of machine-learning and AI startups.

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