Google Acquires Q&A Startup Superpod to Boost Assistant IQ

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Google silently acquired Superpod, a startup founded by ex-Googlers William Li and Sophia Yang in 2016, and focused on providing its users with a platform to obtain answers from experts to questions from a wide variety of fields.

The search giant acquired the startup for approximately $60 million according to Fortune, and it came with a side deal requiring Google to also hire the founders.

Superpod’s platform shutdown before the acquisition

According to some, Superpod’s crowdsourcing knowledge tech should allow Google to drastically increase Google Assistant’s efficiency and accuracy when answering user questions. 

As reported by Axios, another startup dubbed Jelly and funded by Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone previously worked on the same concept, but it also was acquired in 2017 by Pinterest.

Superpod previously raised an undisclosed amount of funding during an August 31, 2016, seed round from Social Capital, Graph Ventures, Precursor Ventures, The House Fund, and Quora’s co-founder Charlie Cheever according to its AngelList entry.

Moreover, Superpod’s founders shutdown the project and the superpod.io website during September 2018, leaving behind a notice thanking the community.

It’s been an amazing adventure building this community with you all, and we are at a bittersweet crossroads today. We are sad to announce that we will be closing Superpod today as part of a transition into a larger project. We can’t share any details at this time, but we’re trekking onwards toward the same north star and are very excited about the future.

Possible response to Amazon’s Alexa Answers knowledge crowdsourcing program

On December 6, Amazon also announced a crowdsourcing knowledge program of its own in the form of a new feature added to its virtual assistant Alexa and named Alexa Answers.

This invitation-only program allows Amazon customers to add answers and information, with an extra 100,000 custom responses already added by the internal team.

Therefore, Google’s newest acquisition could clearly be seen as a direct response to Amazon’s endeavor to improve its virtual assistant using human-generated content.

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Author: 100IQ Win The Knowledge

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