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McKinsey, looking at the MLOps space, buys Iguazio from Tel Aviv • TechCrunch

That same day, Microsoft invested billions in OpenAI, McKinsey picked up enterprise-focused AI firm Iguazio for a relative bargain.

The consulting giant Reportedly paid about $50 million for Iguazio, a Tel Aviv-based company that offers an MLOps platform for large-scale businesses. “MLOps” refers to a set of tools to deploy and maintain machine learning models in production. In a press release, McKinsey says it plans to use the startup’s technology and team of 70 data scientists to bolster its QuantumBlack platform, McKinsey’s data analytics-focused group, with “industry-specific” AI solutions.

“We analyzed more than 1,000 AI companies globally and identified Iguazio as the best match to significantly accelerate our AI offering – from initial concept to production, in a simplified, scalable and automated manner,” said McKinsey senior partner Ben Ellencweig in a statement. . In time, he added, the Iguazio and QuantumBlack teams will be fully integrated and operate from a single product roadmap, combining the best of both worlds (with any luck).

“Iguazio has a state-of-the-art technology that has generated significant market appeal with some of our major customers and earned them recognition in the top industry,” continued Ellencweig.

Iguazio, whose clients include Payoneer, was co-founded in 2014 by Asaf Somekh, Orit Nissan-Messing, Yaron Haviv and Yaron Segev. The four previously held senior positions at XtremIO (acquired by EMC), XIV (acquired by IBM), Mellanox (acquired by Nvidia), and Radvision (acquired by Avaya).

The Iguazio product suite collects and prepares data online or offline, accelerating and automating AI model training for deployment via APIs. In addition, Iguazio seeks to streamline machine learning pipeline steps such as scaling, tuning, and continuous delivery with features such as continuous upgrades, A/B testing, logging, and monitoring.

Prior to the acquisition, Iguazio managed to raise $72 million in venture capital from investors including INCapital Ventures, Pitango VC, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and Magma Venture Partners. according to to CrunchBase data. TechCrunch previously reported that the startup was valued at $100 million.

MLOps may not be as sexy as ChatGPT, for example. But demand is growing. At one estimationthe market for MLOps could reach $4 billion by 2025.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no shortage of startups going after space, like Comet, which raised $50 million in November 2021. Other VC-enabled vendors include Arize, Tecton, Diveplane, Iterative, Galileo, and Taiwan-based InfuseAI.

But for McKinsey, the price – and timing – was apparently right, as far as Iguazio is concerned. The company notes that Iguazio is the first acquisition in Israel and that the recently expanded team will serve as the foundation for a new QuantumBlack location that McKinsey expects to grow in the coming years.

“By attracting exceptional tech talent and expanding our tech ecosystem, we can welcome colleagues from all over the world to Tel Aviv’s exciting tech scene,” McKinsey partner Matt Fitzpatrick said in a blog post.

Over the past year, McKinsey has made several data analytics acquisitions, including Caserta, a data architecture and engineering company. SCM Connections, another recent addition to the consulting firm’s portfolio, offers digital transformation services, including building a tech stack infrastructure.

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