AI used for the purpose of quantitative analysis represented 70% of all AI deals between May 2019 and May 2020. It remains the technology of choice for acquirers seeking to capitalize on efficient ways of processing, automating and augmenting large amounts of data, according to Hampleton Partners’ M&A market report for H1 2020.
The segment also saw the largest AI deals, courtesy of both financial and strategic buyers. These included Thoma Bravo’s take-private of security and antimalware giant Sophos for $3.8 billion; Prudential Financial’s acquisition of Assurance IQ’s machine learning-enabled DTC insurance search service for $2.4 billion; and Hewlett Packard’s acquisition of Cray’s high-performance computing tech for $1.4 billion.
Machine learning woos financial services sector
The financial services sector is keen to adopt AI to improve areas such as personalized financial planning, fraud detection and process automation. A suitable example of this is Yodlee’s February 2020 acquisition of Finbit.io, an Indian financial data aggregation and analytics SaaS, for an undisclosed amount. Finbit allows visual reporting of its analysis of large amounts of consented financial data such as bank statements, transactions, or mobile phone data, thus speeding up processes such as personal loan applications.