Google acquires California-based startup API.ai

Internet giant Google Inc yesterday disclosed that it has acquired California-based startup API.ai, a company that helps developers build conversational interfaces.

Google did not disclose terms of the deal, but Crunchbase reported that API.AI had raised around $8.6 million to date.

''API.AI has a proven track record for helping developers design, build and continuously improve their conversational interfaces. Over 60,000 developers are using API.AI to build conversational experiences, for environments such as Slack, Facebook Messenger and Kik, to name just a few,'' said Scott Huffman, VP of Engineering in a blog-post.

''API.AI offers one of the leading conversational user interface platforms and they'll help Google empower developers to continue building great natural language interfaces,'' he added.

API.ai also offers Assistant, an intelligent chatbot of its own that has more than 40 million users.

''Since API.AI's launch in 2014, we've been constantly impressed by the fast and energetic adoption of the technology from people building conversational interfaces for chatbots, connected cars, smart home devices, mobile applications, wearables, services, robots and more,'' API.ai CEO, Ilya Gelfenbeyn said in a blog-post.

''Our vision has been to make technology understand and speak human language and help developers build truly intelligent conversational interfaces for their products and services. The best part of our day is hearing from our diverse community and how they are using API.AI to create truly innovative, practical and inspirational products that will reshape how we live and work in the future,'' he added.

"Joining Google will allow us to accelerate improvements to the platform and service our growing developer community in ways we've always dreamed."