General Electric this week acquired two startups in the artificial intelligence space to bolster its own machine learning capabilities as it looks to compete with the likes of IBM’s Watson.
GE bought Bit Stew, an industrial internet of things company, for US$153 million. For Vancouver, where Bit Stew is based, it represents one of the larger exits in the city’s tech scene in recent years and a tremendous return on investment for early backer Yaletown Partners.
“The integration of our technologies will provide the Predix platform with a greater capability to integrate data while it is in motion from the edge to the cloud,” said Harel Kodesh, CTO at GE Digital. “This combination will help us to accelerate our industrial offerings, providing customers with contextual understanding of their assets and operations.”
“GE’s vision of a software-defined future strongly aligns with Bit Stew’s vision and capabilities and we are excited about the pivotal role our technology can play in driving the industrial ecosystem forward,” said Kevin Collins, cofounder of Bit Stew says.
GE also acquired Wise.io, based in Silicon Valley, has advanced machine learning technology that GE can use to expand its Predix platform.
Bit Stew, founded in 2009, was already partially funded by GE’s venture capital arm. The company applies machine learning to data sets in complex industries like aviation and oil.