Highlights:

  • Iguazio’s services assist companies in building training datasets for developing a neural network that can be immediately deployed for production.
  • After the acquisition, McKinsey plans to incorporate Iguazio’s services into its QuantumBlack professional service unit.

McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm, announced the acquisition of Iguazio Ltd., a startup offering a platform for automating Artificial Intelligence (AI) development projects.

The financial terms of the deal are not disclosed. Iguazio reportedly amassed USD 72 million from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and other investors.

McKinsey is one of the largest management consulting companies, with more than 30,000 employees across 60+ countries. The privately held company is said to garner annual revenue of more than ten billion dollars.

Iguazio, a Tel Aviv-based startup platform, sells software services to help companies build AI models more automatedly. Robert Bosch GmbH, NetApp Inc., and other huge enterprises are among the prominent customers of the company.

Ben Ellencweig, the Senior Partner of McKinsey, said, “After analyzing more than 1,000 AI companies worldwide, Iguazio was identified as the best fit to help us significantly accelerate our AI offering – from the initial concept to production, in a simplified, scalable and automated manner.”

Iguazio’s platform assists companies in building training datasets used to develop a neural network that can be immediately deployed to production. The AI development process has traditionally been a function of considerable manual work. The platform strives to automate most of the manual tasks for software staff.

Generally, the AI applications don’t evaluate the data ingested in its original form but simplify initially. A neural network that accepts product prices as input might round off the figure to the closest whole number before analysis. The streamlined data points obtained by this process are called features.

Every time an AI model receives new records, it should immediately turn them into features in real-time to prevent process strangling. However, attaining such real-time performance is practically challenging. Iguazio’s platform offers features that can simplify entrepreneurial tasks, thereby improving the AI applications’ performance.

Besides, the startup assures to address data drift, another crucial challenge the companies face. Data drift is a term used for a technical issue encountered by AI models when the data processed changes over time. A neural network trained to spot a technical glitch in specific industrial equipment may sometimes face data drift if it is remodeled for assessing error logs from different types of machines.

The accuracy of AI models often dwindles with the occurrences of such data drifts. Iguazio’s platform voluntarily redirects the AI model to resolve accuracy issues after detecting any data drift. It also creates dashboards for software teams to monitor the reliability of neural network alterations with time.

Besides the software platform, Iguazio offers two open-source AI development tools. The MLRun tool automates the task of integrating AI software code into software containers. The startup also develops Nuclio, which eases the data processing used in AI projects.

After the acquisition, McKinsey plans to incorporate Iguazio’s services into its QuantumBlack professional service unit. This integrated unit can help companies to build and instill AI models. QuantumBlack originated in 2015 after McKinsey acquired a London-based machine learning and analytics company with the same name.