Facebook Acquires AI Startup to Bring Digital Assistant Technology to Messenger

Facebook has acquired an artificial intelligence startup called Ozlo.

Based near Facebook in Palo Alto, Ozlo offered a smart digital assistant for mobile and desktop use—which is exactly why the social network giant scooped it up: Facebook plans to apply Ozlo’s technology to Messenger as it works toward a highly functional virtual concierge.

“When we started Ozlo, we saw a tremendous explosion of on-the-go communication,” wrote founder Charles Jolley. “Our world-class team has built a knowledge graph containing over two billion entities and created amazing AI technology that uses this data to understand real-world nuances.”

Ozlo, founded in 2013, had raised $14 million in venture capital.

“We’re ready to take the next step in our journey with Messenger,” added Jolley. “There’s a lot more for us to explore ahead and we’re excited to bring our technology to the Messenger community.”

A “majority” of Ozlo’s 30-odd team members will be joining Facebook’s Messenger team in Menlo Park, according to a spokesperson. Ozlo the startup will shutter.