If you haven’t used Swiftkey, the smart keyboard for iOS and Android, we suggest you try it now. Swiftkey makes word predictions that are freakishly accurate and even plugs in to your Gmail to learn new words. Now, a new report suggests that Microsoft has snapped it up for $250 million citing research reasons.
“We love SwiftKey’s technology and we love the team that Jon and Ben have formed,” Harry Shum, head of Microsoft Research, was quoted as saying to The Verge, confirming the deal. “We believe that together we can achieve orders of magnitude greater scale than either of us could have achieved independently,” he added.
UK-based Swiftkey was founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, who will each make more than $30 million if the deal goers through, Financial Times reported. The newspaper was the first to report the deal.
For Microsoft, buying Swiftkey makes sense: the company is trying to boost its artificial intelligence cred and has also bought other utillity apps like Wunderlist (a to-do list app), Acompli (an email app that was rebranded to Outlook), and Sunrise (a calendar app).
Swiftkey, however, may not be happy with the price offered, says the Financial Times, especially since the company’s keyboard is one of the most popular keyboards in the world and is installed on over 300 million devices globally. Some of its biggest features include the ability to learn new words including names, slang, and emoji, and its support for over 100 languages including Arabic, Icelandic, Welsh, and several Indian and Chinese dialects.