Networking giant Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) has announced its intent to pay $125 million for MindMeld (fka Expect Labs), the San Francisco-based provider of an AI-powered platform that helps users build human-like conversational interfaces for any application or device. Founded in 2011, the startup had raised about $18 million in equity funding, including a $13 million round in 2014 at a valuation of $53.3 million. Its backers include IDG Ventures and GV.
The acquisition will help Cisco improve some of its products that already use AI and machine learning and will power new conversational interfaces for those products. The MindMeld team will join Cisco’s cloud collaboration group.
This is Cisco’s fourth announced or completed acquisition of the year. Most notably, the corporation agreed to purchase AppDynamics in January, just before the software company was set to price its IPO, for a whopping $3.7 billion. And just last week Cisco announced it would acquire Viptela, a provider of network infrastructure technology, for $610 million.