Zoom plans acquisitions in Germany2. July 2021
Zoom plans acquisitions in Germany
New York, 7/2/2021
Zoom announced plans to acquire Karlsruhe Information, Technology Solutions, or Kites, a German developer of machine learning-based translation technologies. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Following the acquisition, Zoom will acquire Kites’ 12 researchers to help further develop Zoom’s machine translation technology to improve the app’s multilingual translation capabilities.
Kites uses predictive AI and other technologies to translate speakers’ voices in real time. It says its system has an average delay of one second and an error rate of ~5%.
Alex Waibel and Sebastian Stüker, faculty members at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, founded Kites in 2015. Waibel, a graduate of MIT and Carnegie Mellon University, is an expert in speech recognition and translation. He previously founded the Language Technology Group at Facebook before it was folded into the company’s larger ML efforts. With the acquisition, Waibel becomes a Zoom research member and advises ML translation research.
In January, Zoom raised $1.75 billion through a secondary stock offering, noting that some of the capital would go toward mergers and acquisitions.