Yes, you probably have the same question I did: Why is HubSpot acquiring a dating advice startup? The details on this deal are scant, but it likely has to do with the startup’s expertise in using machine learning to help develop relationships.
The startup in question is Evolve, which went through this year’s Techstars Boston program, though it was the only company not to present on Demo Day. A press release announcing HubSpot’s acquisition of Evolve is expected to be published next week.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it’s not clear whether the acquisition is an acqui-hire or also include’s the startup’s assets. It’s also not clear whether Evolve’s machine learning-powered dating advice app would be discontinued.
Eric Boutin, Evolve’s CEO and co-founder, declined to answer emailed questions through a spokesperson. HubSpot has not responded to a request for comment that was sent Thursday evening.
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In an advanced copy of the press release provided exclusively to BostInno, HubSpot Chief Strategy Officer Brad Coffey said Evolve was acquired “for its perspective and world class development team,” adding that it will help HubSpot push “the envelope on how CRM applications play a role in our daily lives.”
Evolve said its machine learning dating advice app “uncovers hidden patterns in an individual’s dating and relationship history, and gives them intelligent advice in their love life,” according to the press release.
HubSpot has recently signaled that machine learning and artificial intelligence are a big part of its future, and the company has been focusing those efforts on increasing the capabilities of its customer relationship management product. In July, the company acquired Kemvi, whose machine learning and AI software is being integrated into HubSpot’s CRM to help sales teams develop better relationships with prospects.
“We believe personal relationships are one of the next frontiers for machine learning.”
Coffey’s comments, as well as a prepared statement from Boutin, indicate that Evolve will be used to further build out HubSpot’s machine learning capabilities for its CRM product.
“We believe personal relationships are one of the next frontiers for machine learning, and that data can be a valuable tool in helping people make decisions,” Boutin said in a statement.
This marks Boutin’s second exit in as many months. In July, genetic testing firm Invitae acquired Good Start Genetics, a company he also co-founded. Before that, another company he co-founded called Flex Pharma went public in 2015.
Beyond its acquisitions of Kemvi and Evolve, HubSpot began investing in startups this year as a way to partner more closely with companies providing services that are either adjacent or related to its sales and marketing software platform.