Apple acquires AI voice startup Pullstring to bolster Siri's abilities

Apple reportedly paid around $30 million upfront. The management also earned potential earn-outs worth $10 million which included CEO Oren Jacob, who was once Pixar's CTO.

Published Date
16 - Feb - 2019
| Last Updated
16 - Feb - 2019
 
Apple acquires AI voice startup Pullstring to bolster Siri’s abil...

Highlights:

  • Apple acquired San Francisco-based startup Pullstring.
  • The company was formed by former Pixar executives and was valued at $160 million.
  • The startup worked on desiging and publishing of voice-enabled apps.

Apple has acquired an AI voice assistant startup called Pullstring. The startup based out of San Francisco worked on the design and publishing of voice-enabled apps. The acquisition is seen as a move to Bolster Siri’s abilities to compete with Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant.

The startup has roots tracing back to Apple. The company was founded by a group of former Pixar executives in 2011. It originally made interactive voice apps for toys. With new voice-enabled platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Pullstring expanded its horizons to make Alexa skills and other voice apps. The startup raised 44$ million in venture capital.

According to information available online, the company’s most recent valuation was pegged at $160 million. Apple reportedly paid around $30 million upfront. The management also earned potential earn-outs worth $10 million which included CEO Oren Jacob, who was once Pixar’s CTO.

Apple recently opened up Siri to third parties last year. Voice-based digital assistants are the next big platform. Alexa and Google Assistant both have thousands of applets that work with conversational commands. Apple, in fact, had lagged behind its rivals even though Siri was the first mainstream voice-based digital assistant.

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