Microsoft Invests in AI App Development Startup
Microsoft has made its next move in the AI space by investing in Builder.ai, which specializes in AI-assisted code and app development.
The London-based startup announced the deal on Wednesday and said that the partnership with Microsoft will help further their mission of providing enterprises to build applications with little to no technical expertise. "We are ecstatic that the world’s largest software company chose Builder.ai as a collaborator to lay down deeper roots in helping the next 100m businesses and beyond become digitally native," said Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder of Builder.ai, in a press release.
According to the company, this week's announced deal includes integration of Builder.ai tech across Microsoft's product line, with the goal to increase the startup's market growth.
This includes integration of Builder.AI's artificial intelligence features, like Natasha, which is an AI-powered product chatbot that helps enterprises create custom software solutions. The company said that the chatbot will come to Microsoft Teams' marketplace to assist users in creating custom applications.
Natasha will suggest features users may need when developing software. The AI assistant then maps out exactly how to build the needed application and break it up into smaller components. Then Natasha recommends what developers it has determined is correct for each component.
Once the code is generated, Natasha will then compile the code pieces, check the completed app for compatibility and make sure that the functioning app matches and meets the needs. The company said that Natasha's testing capabilities has reduced development testing time from weeks to 60 seconds.
While the exact amount of Microsoft's investment was not disclosed, this week's announced deal will include an equity stake in the company, and will further the company's focus on investing heavily in AI.
"Our collaboration with Builder.ai is an extension of our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We see Builder.ai creating an entirely new category that empowers everyone to be a developer and our new, deeper collaboration fueled by Azure AI will bring the combined power of both companies to businesses around the world," said Microsoft's Jon Tinter, Corporate Vice President, Business Development.
Microsoft and Builder.AI have not indicated when the AI tech will start to roll out across Microsoft's ecosystem.