The UK-based keyboard app developer known as SwiftKey is now a subsidiary of Microsoft. According to the Financial Times, the accepted offer is a whopping $250 million (£174m). The developers of the app have referred to the deal as a major milestone in their history.
Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, the ecstatic founders of the app, recently blogged about this exciting purchase: “Our mission is to enhance interaction between people and technology…and we believe joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey.”
The SwiftKey app is popular for its predictive keyboard, a feature installed in most smartphones. Physics professor Stephen Hawking famously had it installed into his wheelchair.
This recent action by Microsoft is destined to further their mobile strategy, spearheaded by the company’s chief executive, Satya Nadella.
SwiftKey began life in 2008, started by Reynolds and Medlock, who were both Cambridge University graduates at the time. It now employs 160 people and is situated in Southwark. Two other studios are located in San Fransisco and Seoul, South Korea.
They’re not the first UK artificial intelligence firm to be bought by a US tech giant. Deepmind – a product that originated in the University of Oxford – was purchased by Google in 2014, for a staggering £400m. As for VocallQ, it was Apple that came forward and sealed the deal.