As Facebook prepares to launch its new cryptocurrency Libra in 2020, it’s putting the pieces in place to help it run. In one of the latest developments, it has acquired Servicefriend, a startup that built bots — chat clients for messaging apps based on artificial intelligence — to help customer service teams, TechCrunch has confirmed.
The news was first reported in Israel, where Servicefriend is based, after one of its investors, Roberto Singler, alerted local publication The Marker about the deal. We reached out to Ido Arad, one of the co-founders of the company, who referred our questions to a team at Facebook. Facebook then confirmed the acquisition with an Apple-like non-specific statement:
“We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Several people, including Arad, his co-founder Shahar Ben Ami, and at least one other indicate that they now work at Facebook within the Calibra digital wallet group on thei..
Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I profiled an e-commerce startup Part & Parcel. Before that, I wrote about Stripe’s grand plans.
Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to email@example.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here.
Startup Spotlight: Landline Some startups build space ships that will one day send us all to Mars, others put their time and energy into improving 350 year old infrastructure.
Landline, the operator of a bus network in the Midwest, is one of the latest companies to raise venture capital. The business has closed a $3.85 million round led by Los Angeles firm Upfront Ventures, with participation from Mucker Capital and Matchstick Ventures. The company is actually based out of LA, too, but has ..