Congrats to the SwiftKey team!
This morning, SwiftKey announced on its blog that it has been acquired by Microsoft. It is a great outcome for one of the few companies that has managed to turn cutting-edge AI research into a mass-market mobile product globally, used by hundreds of millions of people every day. As we wrote in our blog post two and half years ago, this feat was the reason we invested then and it still stands out today.
While AI, smart bots and conversational commerce/service may be the buzzwords of the day, SwiftKey's cofounders Ben and Jon started working on their product 8 years ago, while still students at Cambridge. They foresaw back then that touchscreen would become ubiquitous (driven by the widespread adoption of low cost Android phones, on which they bet heavily) and that typing, especially through messaging, would become a key part of our daily life.
This is what it takes to build a large global tech company: not only exceptional skills and personality traits (chief among them, resilience in the face of adversity) but also a sense of timing. A secret insight not only into how the world is today, but how it will be tomorrow, and in eight years' time.
This is why their mission hasn't changed since day one and is still as valid as ever: transforming how humans interact with technology, and have technology adapt to humans, not the other way around. Joining Microsoft, one of the largest software companies in the world, will enable the team to continue on this journey with the large resources their ambition requires, both financially and technologically.
We at Index feel really lucky to have had the chance to work alongside Ben, Jon and their entire team for the past couple of years. We can't wait to see how they develop SwiftKey further and integrate their predictive technology into the other Microsoft products. Guys, thank you for the ride, and for making communication so much more enjoyable on mobile.