Cambridge based SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250m

The acquisition, worth around $250m, will enable the company to improve and develop its apps and, in a statement on their website, Medlock and Reynolds said the deal would not change their focus to “build the best possible products for our users”.

The company, started by the Cambridge University graduates in 2008, is the latest UK artificial intelligence (AI) firm to be bought up by a US tech giant as it uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to make typing faster, easier and more accurate on touchscreen devices. It takes note of a user’s commonly used phrases to give accurate next word prediction and can correct spelling mistakes.

The business is reported to have grown to a network of over 130,000 and claims to have saved its users an estimated 10 million keystrokes across 100 different languages; adding up to over 100,000 years of reclaimed typing time.

On the SwiftKey website, Medlock and Reynolds said of the deal: “Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. Our mission is to enhance interaction between people and technology. We think these are a perfect match.

“At times like this people tend to focus on founders. However, the heart of our company is the awesome team who chose to share this journey with us. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication and hard work. We never would have come this far without you.”

Alex Macpherson, head of Octopus Ventures, which has previously invested in SwiftKey, said: “Today is a huge day for SwiftKey and we are thrilled for Ben and Jon the co-founders of this fantastic business. It was clear to us when we met them back in 2010, that they had found an opportunity to build an incredibly exciting and global business that could scale quickly. Equally importantly, it was evident that they had the talent, commitment and motivation to make this happen. From our initial investment, we’ve really enjoyed working with the team and seeing their business go from strength to strength. The news that SwiftKey is to join the Microsoft family is a tremendous achievement for this innovative young business and further highlights the UK as a thriving global hub for entrepreneurship.”