Over the last 18 months there has been a spate of algorithm/ML/recommendation companies being acquired by Media, Social and Ecommerce companies. One of the most notable was eBay’s acquisition of Chris Dixon’s Hunch, a big strategic move from eBay to provide recommendations to its buyers and sellers, but there have been numerous others including Apple’s acquisition of Chomp, LinkedIn’s acquisition of mSpoke, Google and CleverSense, CBS and Clicker and Red Bee and TV Genius as well as smaller deals like the recent one pairing photo-sharing site 500px recommendation startup Algo Anywhere,
It is clear that the companies who get the fact that content, context and customers are connected by data are moving fast to acquire and/or develop intelligent technologies that can make sense of it all and better engage people with more of whatever they are offering (whether it’s content, advertising, social connections, products…). These companies understand that in a device-lead, connected world there is now so much granular data available about everything, that it is only by using it intelligently that companies will win.
Expect to see even more acquisitions of algorithm/ML tech over the next 12-18 months as more companies wake up to the fact that they need to make much more intelligent use of data.