Appen Limited, a global leader in the provision of high-quality,
human-annotated datasets for machine learning and AI, today announced it
has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Figure Eight, a best in
class machine learning software platform which uses highly automated
tools to transform unlabeled text, image, audio, and video data into
high-quality AI training data.
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This acquisition combines the scale, quality and language expertise of
Appen’s leading global crowd with Figure Eight’s innovative data
annotation platform to create a unique, end-to-end training data
offering. The unified business will be strongly positioned to deliver
the increasing volume, quality and speed requirements for training data
to support machine learning and AI.
Founded in San Francisco in 2007, Figure Eight (previously known as
CrowdFlower) has played a critical role in the artificial intelligence
ecosystem, having delivered 325 million human judgments in 2018 alone.
Figure Eight has released a variety of innovative capabilities to
enhance its platform – including machine learning-assisted data labeling
and video object tracking – that can create high-quality training
datasets up to 50 times faster than human labeling alone.
Appen – based in Sydney, Australia and listed on the Australian
Securities Exchange (ASX:APX) with offices worldwide – successfully
deploys its global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors, working
in over 180 languages and more than 130 countries, to support its global
customer base that includes eight of the world’s ten largest technology
“The union of Appen and Figure Eight creates a unique, exciting and
powerful opportunity for our customers,” said Mark Brayan, Appen’s Chief
Executive Officer. “We now have the best of both worlds: our highly
efficient cloud management platform and scalable, skillful multilingual
crowd, combined with Figure Eight’s innovative customer facing SaaS
platform with ML-assisted annotation. Combined, we’ll meet and exceed
our customers’ scale, speed and quality requirements.”
“We’re very excited to be joining Appen,” said Lukas Biewald, co-founder
of Figure Eight. “I’m extremely proud of the team. This is a genuine
validation of everything we’ve achieved and a great platform for our
teams to combine and continue to do amazing things in AI.”
Through the end of 2019, Figure Eight will operate largely independently
as a division of Appen to ensure it remains focused on its product
development and customers. Beyond 2019, Figure Eight’s experienced team
and powerful technology will be integral to Appen’s future success.
Appen will pay USD $175M up-front for Figure Eight and an additional
payment of up to $125M in 2020 based on 2019 performance.
Appen is being advised by Atlas Technology Group of San Francisco.
Appen is a global leader in the development of high-quality,
human-annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial
intelligence. Appen brings over 20 years of experience capturing and
enriching a wide variety of data types including speech, text, image and
video. With deep expertise in more than 180 languages and access to a
global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors, Appen partners with
technology, automotive and eCommerce companies - as well as governments
worldwide - to help them develop, enhance and use products that rely on
natural languages and machine learning.
About Figure Eight
Figure Eight combines the best of human and machine intelligence to
provide high-quality annotated training data that powers the world’s
most innovative machine learning and business solutions. With over a
decade of experience and 10+ billion judgments, Figure Eight’s
enterprise-ready data annotation platform delivers unprecedented quality
and scale across a diverse set of industries and use cases.
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