From Apple To Microsoft: The Top 10 Acquirers Of AI, ML Firms

Many of the largest tech companies in the world are gobbling up some of the top artificial intelligence and machine learning organizations in a move to boost their own AI market share and/or ML roadmap.

In fact, just 10 companies have acquired more than 100 AI and ML companies since 2017, according to a new report by market research firm PitchBook, with Apple, Accenture and Microsoft leading the way.

As the AI battle heats up in 2023—fueled by new generative AI innovation—startups and established companies alike are being acquired by larger players like Cisco, ServiceNow, IBM and Intel.

[Related: The 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2023 (So Far)]

The worldwide AI market is expected to reach $900 billion by 2026, growing at a 19 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next three years, according to market research firm IDC.

The AI and ML market is growing at a somewhat unprecedented rate due to massive investments inside technology providers as well as venture capitalists (VCs). In the first quarter of 2023, AI and ML companies raised a total of $22.7 billion from VCs, including $12.7 billion from generative AI investments, according to PitchBook’s new Q1 2023 report by its Institutional Research Group.

“The AI industry is at an inflection point between pre- and post-LLM (large language model) eras,” said Brendan Burke, senior analyst of emerging technology for PitchBook’s Institutional Research Group in its new ‘Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Report’. “The recent wave of LLMs has subsumed end-user attention, forcing incumbents to expand their product portfolios to continue revenue growth.”

He said leading technology leaders like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Meta, Nvidia, Intel, Qualcomm, HPE, and Salesforce are making a series of investments in both internal and external technologies. “Each of these companies has participated in multiple VC megadeals since the start of 2022, and their participation is a key component of the largest deals in the space,” said Burke.

CRN takes a deep dive into PitchBook’s report around the 10 largest acquirers of AI and ML companies since 2017.

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LEARN MORE: Mergers and Acquisitions  | AI  | Machine Learning  | Generative AI 

 Learn About Mark Haranas


Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at [email protected].


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