Facebook acquires Wit.ai, a startup that lets developers add Siri-like language processing to their apps
Wit.ai, the Y Combinator-backed startup that enables developers to add Siri-like language processing to their apps, has been acquired by Facebook.
According to a blog post from the startup, Wit.ai is joining the social network, though its “platform will remain open and become entirely free for everyone,” it says. Wit.ai’s API lets developers add voice command ability to apps, wearable devices, home automation devices, and robots. It can process both voice commands and text-based communication like texts or chats.
While it’s a bit unclear what exactly the team will do at Facebook, it will likely be integrating its technology in some way into Facebook’s products and will be available as part of Parse’s tools.
“Wit.ai has built an incredible yet simple natural language processing API that has helped developers turn speech and text into actionable data. We’re excited to have them onboard,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat via email.
Cofounder Alex Lebrun first got into the natural language processing (NLP) game in 2002 when he cofounded VirtuOz, a “Siri for the enterprise,” which he and his cofounders eventually sold to Nuance Communications a decade later.
Wit.ai recently raised $3 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon, Ignition Partners, NEA, Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade, SV Angel, Eric Hahn, Alven Capital, and TenOneTen. The startup is based in Palo Alto, California.