We’re starting up the blog year with startup news: Amazon “quietly acquired” the cybersecurity firm harvest.ai for approximately $20 million.
Per Tech Crunch, the 12-person company is based in San Diego and counts two former NSA field operation team members among its founders. Intended for companies that use cloud-based services like Office 365, Google for Work, Salesforce, Box and Dropbox, the patent-pending AI product known as MACIE Analytics attempts to both identify and stop targeted cyber attacks before customer data is stolen. It accomplishes this by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze user behavior.
Led by seed investor Trinity Ventures, the startup had raised $2.3 million in seed funding, making it, as the report mentions, an excellent return on investment. The report also shares an insider tip that the company’s 12 employees are relocating to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.
How will this purchase benefit Amazon? Tech Crunch speculates the global company could add it to its own security-as-a-service features as well as its own AI technology development and human talent.