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Meditation app Headspace has acquired Alpine.ai, a startup that helps brands create voice apps like Alexa skills or Google Assistant actions. Part of the Alpine.ai team will join Headspace and report directly to CTO Paddy Hannon, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Alpine.ai acquisition will be used to help bring new conversational products to market, and to take advantage of Alpine’s natural language understanding and machine learning expertise.
“Alpine’s machine learning capabilities accelerate Headspace’s efforts to bring new conversational experiences to market, focusing on coaching and guiding members to build healthy routines,” according to a post announcing the acquisition.
Headspace currently offers meditation assistance with Google Assistant and Alexa, and was one of the first apps previewed with Apple’s Siri Shortcuts due out next week with iOS 12. The company will continue to look for ways to become a part of people’s daily routines, something Alpine.ai CEO and cofounder Adam Marchick and Google Assistant lead engineer Scott Huffman have both identified as a major characteristic of successful voice apps.
Headspace currently has 31 million users worldwide, according to a company statement.
Alpine.ai was established in June 2016 and has made several pivots. The startup began as Voicelabs, an analytics platform for voice app developers. It also attempted to become a network for Alexa developers to sell ads for their skills, but ended that initiative after two months.
Using insights gathered from more than 3,500 developers, in January Voicelabs became Alpine.ai, and began to work with companies like Petco, work which Marchick detailed in a panel with other voice app developers at Transform, an AI-focused event held by VentureBeat last month.
Alpine.ai was founded by Marchick, who had been CEO of the marketing company Kahuna, and Alexandre Linares, who had been forecasting new digital media platforms at The Chergin Group.
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