Apple acquires AI startup specializing in overlooking manufacturing components

Key Points:

  • Apple acquires Canada-based AI startup DarwinAI specializing in vision-based tech for manufacturing efficiency.
  • DarwinAI team members joined Apple’s machine learning teams in January.
  • DarwinAI had raised over $15 million in funding; Apple aims to use its AI techniques for on-device generative AI features.


Apple has added to its AI startup acquisitions by purchasing DarwinAI, a Canada-based company specializing in vision-based technology for manufacturing efficiency, as reported by Bloomberg. While the deal has not been officially announced, members of DarwinAI’s team have joined Apple’s machine learning groups in January, according to their LinkedIn profiles.


DarwinAI had secured over $15 million in funding from investors like BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund, Honeywell Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Inovia Capital. BDC Capital has confirmed it received an exit from DarwinAI, while Obvious Ventures has updated its portfolio to indicate the acquisition.


The specifics of the deal have not been disclosed, and neither Apple nor the investors have commented on the acquisition yet. DarwinAI’s expertise includes streamlining AI models to be smaller and faster, potentially aiding Apple in implementing on-device generative AI features anticipated in iOS 18 later this year.


Apple has faced competition in rolling out generative AI capabilities from companies like OpenAI, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. Apple CEO Tim Cook has mentioned plans to introduce such features “later this year,” emphasizing the company’s dedication to advance in the AI space during quarterly earnings calls.


Acknowledging AI as a fundamental technology, Apple invested in gen-AI efforts last year, as highlighted by Cook. Recent job listings from Apple signal the exploration of integrating AI across various internal and external aspects, encompassing Siri, developer tools, and customer support services.



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