Enterprise software company ServiceNow has agreed to acquire Canadian artificial intelligence startup Element AI.

The Santa Clara, California-based company develops a platform for companies to manage their digital workflows and the Element AI acquisition is geared towards bolstering it with intelligent automation capabilities.

The two companies have not disclosed the full terms of the deal. However, TechCrunch is reporting that Element AI was priced at around $500m, per sources. This would make it ServiceNow’s biggest acquisition to date.

However, if the price is accurate it is below the $600m-$700m valuation it was given during its last funding round in September 2019.

The deal is slated for completion in early 2021 and will see Element AI co-founder Dr Yoshua Benigo will join ServiceNow as technical advisor.

Benigo and his fellow co-founders are considered pioneers in the field of machine learning. This helped the company attract funding from the likes of Nvidia, Intel and Microsoft.

At present, Element AI helps enterprises deploy AI capabilities at speed. ServiceNow said it will be applying this expertise to its AI-powered products such as IT Service Management Pro, Customer Service Management Pro, and HR Service Delivery Pro.

“AI technology is evolving rapidly as companies race to digitally transform 20th-century processes and business models,” said ServiceNow Chief AI Officer Vijay Narayanan.

“ServiceNow is leading this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make work, work better for people. With Element AI’s powerful capabilities and world-class talent, ServiceNow will empower employees and customers to focus on areas where only humans excel – creative thinking, customer interactions, and unpredictable work. That’s a smarter way to workflow.”

ServiceNow will also create a global AI Innovation Hub in Canada in a sign that it sees the country as a key geography for attracting talent in the AI space.

“Element AI’s vision has always been to redefine how companies use AI to help people work smarter,” said Element AI co-founder and CEO Jean-Francois Gagné.

“ServiceNow is leading the workflow revolution and we are inspired by its purpose to make the world of work, work better for people. ServiceNow is the clear partner for us to apply our talent and technology to the most significant challenges facing the enterprise today.”


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