Scyfer, an AI startup, has been acquired by the tech giant Qualcomm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. As part of this transition the founder of Scyfer and professor Max Welling will help to further advance AI research and development at Qualcomm Technologies. The Scyfer team will remain to operate from Amsterdam. The deal can be classified as an acquihire.
Scyfer, is a spin-off from the University of Amsterdam (UvA). It was founded by Welling, Jörgen Sandig and Taco Cohen in 2013. It applies the latest research and development in de field of AI for building solutions for companies across the world and in different industries, among others manufacturing, healthcare, finance and commerce. Notable clients include ANWB, Albert Heijn and Tata Steel.
For Tata Steel the startup created for instance a steel surface quality inspection system by building a custom-made machine learning platform that uses computer vision to analyse millions of variables in order to detect defects. Making it possible to analyse the quality of a steel coil of 2 km long at an accuracy of a square millimeter.
The acquisition of Scyfer seems to be a logical step for Qualcomm. In september 2014 it bought the UvA spin-off Euvision. An image recognition startup powered by artificial intelligence. In the same year it opened the Qualcomm research lab in the Netherland and a year later opened a joint research lab with the UvA, QUVA Lab.
The acquisition of Scyfer comes in the midst of a multibillion dollar acquisition of another tech pioneer in the Netherlands, NXP Semiconductors. Interestingly investors including Elliott Management Corp. are pressuring NXP to renegotiate and raise the 47 billion USD bid of Qualcomm Inc.
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