Intel acquires machine learning startup

Intel pauses stock buyback program in the midst of coronavirus pandemic.

As 2020 enters its final stretch, Intel has been busy in the acquisition space. The tech giant recently bought yet another startup as it seeks to bolster its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning businesses.

Its most recent acquisition is a startup called, an Israeli firm that focuses on machine learning models. It boasts an impressive platform that allows researchers to train and track multiple models and compare them along the way.

In a note to investors, an Intel spokesperson confirmed the acquisition. The statement says, “We can confirm that we have acquired Cnvrg. Cnvrg will be an independent Intel company and will continue to serve its existing and future customers.”

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At this point, Intel hasn’t disclosed the financial implications of the acquisition or how Cnvrg’s employees will be integrated into the company. Nonetheless, it is another exciting move for the chip giant as it seeks to become the undisputed leader in the AI space.

Moving Quickly

If Intel’s latest acquisition feels like déjà vu, that’s because it is just a week removed from buying another deep learning startup. Last week, it purchased SigOpt for its platform that optimizes modeling and simulations.

Cnvrg is located in Israel, expanding Intel’s growing footprint in the country. The Middle Eastern nation is quickly becoming a hub for technologies like AI and data science.

The acquisition of Cnvrg will strengthen Intel’s ambitions in the machine learning space that are currently driven by its Mobileye business and the resources it gained from buying AI chipmaker Habana in 2019.

To date, Cnvrg has raised $8 million from investors and was reportedly valued at $17 million at the time of its last funding round.

Cnvrg is best known for its user-friendly platform geared towards data scientists. It allows them to analyze and measure how deep learning algorithms work as they are being created.

What Does the Cnvrg Acquisition Mean for Intel?

Aside from the statement mentioned above, Intel has been fairly quiet about its latest acquisition. It remains unclear exactly how the chip giant intends to use Cnvrg’s technology and resources in the coming days.

That being said, Intel has done a tremendous job of developing its AI offerings in recent years—mostly thanks to acquisitions.

The firm continues to focus on building next-generation chips that will help it stay ahead of competitors like Nvidia, AMD, and Arm. Recent chip releases from those firms have narrowed the performance gap that previously drove many consumers and business clients  towards Intel’s products.

The focus on AI chips will undoubtedly be a core component of Intel’s business strategy in the coming years. As demand for AI continues to increase, positioning itself at the forefront of the next-gen chip industry could be a wildly successful strategy.

For Intel, it may be the only way forward.

The company reported a three percent decline in revenue in the last quarter. Those figures were driven by a drop in its data center business and legacy operations. That being said, the AI chip market is projected to top $25 billion by 2024. With few competitors at its level in the space, Intel hopes to cash in on the latest trend in silicon.

Its acquisition of Cnvrg will help it continue to build a full suite of AI tools for developers to complement its next-gen hardware.


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