Google acquires AI startup Halli Labs

Google Next Billion

Google has acquired yet another startup that specializes in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) – a India based company called Halli Labs.

The startup came into existence barely four months ago. The Halli Labs team will be joining Google’s Next Billion Users effort, the Internet giant’s initiative to bring the next billion users from emerging markets like India online. This is said to be the first acquisition of an Indian company by Google.

It’s not entirely clear how large Halli Labs is, but its core team members, including Pankaj Gupta and Pradhuman Jhala, were previously at marketplace Stayzilla. Gupta, who founded Halli Labs and assumes CEO position, was the chief product officer and chief technology officer at Stayzilla, while Jhala was the chief architect. Stayzilla shut shop earlier this year.

Some of the things Halli Labs has been working on includes “speed recognition” and natural language processing. It never shipped any technologies to consumers — again the company is just four months old — but in a blog post, the company said it wanted to give “superhuman powers to all of us humans in letting us do whatever we want to do, better.”

The word Halli means village in Kannada.Over the past one year, Google has announced several services to better serve the untapped Indian market. Some of these include improved translation services and better voice recognition support for local languages.

Financial details of Google’s acquisition of Halli Labs remain undisclosed.


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