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Cloud storage provider Box today announced it has acquired Butter.ai, a contextual search service powered by machine learning. Specific terms of the deal were not immediately made available, but the Butter.ai team will join Box.

“The team from Butter.ai will help Box to bring more intelligence to our search capabilities, enabling Box’s 85,000 customers to more easily navigate through their unstructured information — making searching for files in Box more contextualized, predictive, and personalized,” Box chief product officer Jeetu Patel said in a blog post announcing the acquisition today.

For example, with Butter.ai, a search for “contract” in Box may surface different results for someone on the sales team and someone in human relations.

Last fall, Butter.ai came out of private beta with a Slack bot designed to help businesses search across multiple enterprise services such as Google Drive, Trello, Evernote, Confluence, and Dropbox.


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“All the cloud apps you have are supposed to make your work life easier, but they actually make finding your work harder. And every work app your team uses creates another information silo where valuable information goes to die,” Butter.ai CEO Jack Hirsch told VentureBeat in a phone interview last fall.

Butter.ai is one of nearly 40 companies that have received financial backing from the Slack Fund and one of the original startups chosen to be part of All Turtles, an AI startup studio created in part by former Evernote CEO and early conversational AI investor Phil Libin that first opened its doors last year. Butter.ai is the first company associated with All Turtles to be acquired, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. Since launch in May 2017, All Turtles has opened offices in San Francisco and Paris.

Disclosure: The editor-in-chief of All Turtles, Blaise Zerega, was formerly editor-in-chief of VentureBeat.

Update 11:08 am to include verification from an All Turtles spokesperson that Butter.ai is the first company associated with All Turtles to be acquired. 

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