Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) announced on Monday the acquisition of Magic Pony Technology, a London-based company that has developed novel machine learning techniques for visual processing.
The microblogging company assured to be expanding its capabilities in the machine-learning area by buying the technology for a $150 million deal, which includes retention bonuses for the staff, as reported by TechCrunch.
“Magic Pony’s technology, based on research by the team to create algorithms that can understand the features of imagery, will be used to enhance our strength in live and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter,” Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder, wrote in a blog post.
According to Dorsey, the team includes 11 PhDs with expertise in computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing, and computational neuroscience, who are alumni of some of the top labs in the world.
Magic Pony Technology also announced on its website the newly joined forces with Twitter. The under-the-radar technology assured to be excited to use their advances to improve the visual experiences that are delivered across Twitter’s apps.
They are looking forward to accelerating vastly their rate or research, their team members – which will serve as the European home base for Twitter’s machine learning efforts – and continuing to publish their work, Magic Pony Technology stated.
“We have barely scratched the surface of what we think is possible in this area and are excited to see what the future holds,” the team added.
The acquired company’s unusual name is a reference to the nature of what they are creating, Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch commented.
“It is unbelievable, like a magic pony,” a team member once stated.
Magic Pony’s Technology is not the first company of its kind to be acquired by Twitter over the past years. The acquisition builds on other investment the company has previously made in the machine learning technology.
It first started with Madbits in July 2014, followed by Whetlab in June 2015. Magic Pony’s team members will join the Twitter Cortex, a team of engineers, data scientists and machine learning researchers dedicated to building a product in which people could easily find new experiences to share and participate in.
Twitter’s intentions to grow is a response to the pressure of adding new tools that could make the microblogging service more alluring to a broader audience, beyond its current customers-base mostly integrated by politicians, entertainers, and journalists, as reported by Bloomberg.