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Google makes its first Indian acquisition with AI startup Halli Labs

Halli Labs, a 4-month-old AI and ML startup, was looking to build solutions for the Indian masses

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 


Global giant has made its first acquisition in India by taking over Halli Labs, a four-month-old (AI) and (ML) start-up that was looking to build solutions for the Indian masses.

"We are excited that the team is joining They'll be joining our team that is focused on building products that are designed for the next billion users coming online, particularly in India," said a spokesperson in an emailed statement. It did not disclose the value of the deal.

Halli (village in Kannada) Labs made its first announcement on Medium on May 22 this year. Founder Pankaj Gupta's LinkedIn account says the firm started in April this year, the very next month after he left the now-defunct local Airbnb rival Stayzilla. Gupta has a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University.

"Welcome @Pankaj and the team at @halli_labs to Looking forward to building some cool stuff together," said Caesar Sengupta, vice-president, product management,  

in its post says it was born with the vision of "applying modern techniques to old problems and domains", an indication that it wanted to help rural India get access to information on patchy

India has emerged as one of the biggest markets for such as Google, and for talent as well as business. The increasing number of start-ups, built by former employees of these and other multinational firms, has helped focus on building products that solve problems of consumers, both in India and abroad. 

In January 2014, acquired Bengaluru-based Little Eye Labs, a startup that tracks and optimises the performance of Android-based mobile apps. The next year Twitter acquired another Bengaluru-based startup ZipDial, which built a business through India's habit of missed calls to connect with others. In 2016, acquired Hyderabad-based start-up

First Published: Thu, July 13 2017. 09:27 IST