Tableau Software has acquired ClearGraph, a data discovery and analysis startup, and plans to integrate the company’s natural language query tech into its products to make it easier for users to interact with business data. That approach stands in stark contrast to, say, pulling information using SQL or a similar database query language.
Founded in 2014, ClearGraph raised roughly $3 million in funding from the likes of Accel and Greycroft Partners. Last year, the startup secured a valuation of $7.9 million as part of a $1.5 million financing, according to the PitchBook Platform.
Tableau joins an increasingly crowded field of AI acquirers with its deal for ClearGraph, a group led by the likes of Alphabet (9 completed deals since 2010), Intel (8) and Apple (5). Snap and Microsoft have also been notably active in the space over the past couple of years. Since 2013, the number of buyers worldwide picking up AI & machine learning companies has swelled by 300%, per the PitchBook Platform
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Active acquirers of AI & machine learning companies
Moreover, Tableau’s acquisition of ClearGraph already puts this year’s global AI & machine learning deals on par with last year at 62 completed deals, according to PitchBook data. The 30 deals done in 2014 had previously served as the high water mark in the space.
But setting aside Intel’s recently completed acquisition of autonomous driving tech specialist Mobileye for $15.3 billion reveals that deal value has actually fallen off considerably this year. At about $1.5 billion (again, when excluding Mobileye), 2017 thus far trails last year’s total of $3.35 billion by quite a bit. The 11 deals in the M&A pipeline, though, may soon close that gap.
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Article by Adam Putz, PitchBook