Google acquires Melbourne-founded data science venture Kaggle – StartupSmart


Google has confirmed its acquisition of Melbourne-founded data science platform Kaggle, although financial details of the deal are yet to be revealed.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Kaggle is led by chief executive and Melbourne University alumnus Anthony Goldbloom, 34, who founded the company in 2009 and relocated to Silicon Valley to run it.

Rumours of the acquisition intensified in the wake of a $100,000 competition hosted by Google and Kaggle this month, TechCrunch reports.

But these were brought to an end at Google’s Cloud Next conference on Wednesday.

“Today, I’m excited to announce that Kaggle will be joining Google Cloud,” said Fei-Fei Li, Google’s chief scientist in cloud artificial intelligence and machine learning, in a statement.

“More than 800,000 data experts use Kaggle to explore, analyse and understand the latest updates in machine learning and data analytics. Kaggle is the best place to search and analyse public datasets, build machine learning models and grow your data science expertise.

“Kaggle and Google Cloud will continue to support machine learning training and deployment services, while offering the community the ability to store and query large datasets.”

The acquisition will see Kaggle’s team rolled into the Google Cloud brand.

In a statement, Goldbloom said the acquisition would equip with Kaggle with “powerful infrastructure” to scale.

“Seven years ago, we launched our first ever competition, to predict the voting patterns for the Eurovision Song Contest. It was won by Jure Zbontar, who beat 21 teams to win the $1000 prize,” he said.

“Since then, the Kaggle community has used machine learning to grade high school essays, diagnose heart failure and increase the discovery significance of the Higgs Boson … We will continue to grow our competitions and open data platforms, and we will remain open to all data scientists, companies, techniques and technologies.”

StartupSmart has contacted Kaggle for further comment. 

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