Microsoft to buy British-based software keyboard maker SwiftKey

Tech giant Microsoft struck a deal on 2 February to buy British-based software keyboard maker SwiftKey in order to integrate it with its "intelligent systems" for mobile devices.

Microsoft did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but media reports said that the Washington-based company paid $250 million.

SwiftKey founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock said in a blog post that "joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey."

"Eight years ago we started out as two friends with a shared belief that there had to be a better way of typing on smartphones ... We've come a long way since then; today hundreds of millions of people around the world, and many of the leading mobile manufacturers, rely on our language prediction technology."

''I'm pleased to announce that Microsoft has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SwiftKey, whose highly rated, highly engaging SwiftKey software keyboard and SDK powers more than 300 million Android and iOS devices,'' said Harry Shum - executive vice president, Technology and Research at Microsoft in a blog post.

Based in London, SwiftKey was founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds, Dr Ben Medlock and Chris Hill-Scott.

It is backed investment firms Index Ventures, Octopus Investments and Accel Partners.

It employs over 160 people.

SwiftKey's flagship mobile app, SwiftKey Keyboard for Android and iPhone, adapts to the way one types, so one spend less time correcting typos and more time saying what one really means.

SwiftKey estimates that its users have saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes, across 100 languages, saving more than 100,000 years in combined typing time. Those are impressive results for an app that launched initially on Android in 2010 and arrived on iOS less than two years ago.