Google
An attendee interacts with an illuminated panel at Google stand during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, March 1, 2017.REUTERS/Paul Hanna

Google, on Thursday, announced the acquisition of Kaggle, a San Francisco-based startup that offers a platform for data science professionals to come together. The company also hosts data science and machine learning competitions, and runs a job board with listings for analysts, programmers and more.

What likely tempted Google to buy Kaggle is its rich and active community, including more than 800,000 data experts who use the company's platform to analyse and understand the latest updates in machine learning and data analytics. Kaggle, which was founded in 2010, is said to be the world's largest community of data scientists who compete with each other to solve complex data science problems, using the latest machine learning applications.

"Kaggle is the best place to search and analyze public datasets, build machine learning models and grow your data science expertise," Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist, Google Cloud AI and Machine Learning, said in a statement. "We must lower the barriers of entry to AI and make it available to the largest community of developers, users and enterprises, so they can apply it to their own unique needs. With Kaggle joining the Google Cloud team, we can accelerate this mission."

Although it is unclear how Google will utilise Kaggle's expertise, Li said there would be combined efforts to support "machine learning training and deployment services, while offering the community the ability to store and query large datasets." Li also didn't disclose the terms of the deal.

Kaggle's CEO Anthony Goldbloom suggested in a blog post that Google would keep the service running under its current name.

"The Kaggle team will remain together and will continue Kaggle as a distinct brand within Google Cloud," Goldbloom wrote. "We will continue to grow our competitions and open data platforms, and we will remain open to all data scientists, companies, techniques and technologies. Kaggle Kernels will continue to support a diverse ecosystem of machine learning libraries and packages supported by Google as well as those outside of Google's toolkit."

According to Crunchbase, Kaggle raised a total of $12.75 million in two Series A funding rounds. Its investors include Data Collective, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Max Levchin and Google's chief economist Hal R. Varian.

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