By Simon Gombert/Bloomberg IBM Corp. on Tuesday agreed to acquire robotics startup Spark, a deal that also included plans to invest more than $30 billion in technology, the technology industry’s top software company said.IBM announced the purchase of Spark on Monday, which would combine IBM’s robotics and software business with a larger enterprise business, a move that could increase the size of IBM’s software business.
Spark, which began as a joint venture between IBM and a company called Kaggle, was built with the help of outside investors.
It was created in 2011 and now has more than 2,000 members, including venture capitalists and companies from Silicon Valley.
It is one of the companies behind Watson, the IBM-developed artificial intelligence platform.
The deal, which is expected to close in 2019, could increase IBM’s presence in the artificial intelligence industry, which was one of its biggest growth sectors last year, according to data from IHS Markit.IBMs robotics business is expanding as more people are entering the field.
In 2020, it was valued at $4.7 billion, up 13% from $3.6 billion in 2016, according the research firm.
That includes the $5.2 billion IBM was spending in 2020 to buy up more than 3,500 robots from companies such as Daimler AG, which recently announced it would use its own artificial intelligence technology.
Sparks revenue will be increased by $2 billion a year and $2.4 billion a quarter, IBM said in a statement.IBMBers robotics business grew at nearly 5% in 2020, the fastest pace since 2011.
It will continue to grow at a faster pace in 2020.