I don't understand this business anymore

How is a company that writes an alternative keyboard for phones worth $250 million?

1 Like

There are definitely some crazy valuations being thrown around in Tech at the moment, but with this I suspect it has a lot to do with their keyboard having over half a billion users.

It’s no secret that Microsoft is struggling with their Windows Phone offering, so if they are somehow able to make use of that user base, it could potentially be worth a lot to them - $0.50 / user doesn’t seem like such a ridiculous amount to spend :slightly_smiling:

SwiftKey’s keyboard and SDK is now on more than 300 million Android and iOS smartphones. And while its technology is hugely time-saving for users, the AI-powered platform could have far more uses for Microsoft than just keyboards. The predictive engine behind that keyboard could be put to many more uses.

Furthermore, by acquiring SwiftKey’s staf, and founders Dr. Ben Medlock (CTO) and Jon Reynolds (CEO), they are getting a kick-ass team which is so at the forefront of AI that even Professor Stephen Hawking has praised their work after they worked on a project to enhance the communication system used by the world-renowned scientist.

It’s easy to imagine an AI patent or two being worth that much.

I sorta love that keyboard but went back to the normal one since it’s bugginess and other minor aggregations were too much.

IDK how they got this valuation.

I downloaded their keyboard after the acquisition news. I found it to be a bit confusing and also a bit buggy. For example, it kept putting an extra space whenever I selected one of the spell corrected words. Sometimes the keyboard kept switching to emoji one. Maybe there was some shortcut that I kept pressing. The often used symbols like ? were also in different places. The effort to learn the new setup did not seem worth it.

Actually I love the Swiftkey system, so the moment i saw the title of the post guessed it would be them.

You have quite a few options on setting it up. I recently added it to my wife’s tablet, as I have been using it with a language tutor and the standard one was horrible if you’re used to Swiftkey. For a start it had no arrow keys to move the cursor, and even on a tablet it was frustrating to try poking the screen in exactly the right place to correct spellings etc. For my own use I turn off the auto-insert feature but it’s a HUGE time saver to see it has guessed the word you want and made it clickable (pokeable?)

Even when you know you’ve typed something wrong you can just continue, knowing it will give you the right option. For example you can type “oeop” and can then just hit the L key and it gives you the correct option of “people”. Touchscreen keyboards are awkward, fiddly little things at the best of times, so Swiftkey is a massive time-saver, and helps with spelling too. I can literally send messages 3 times faster, maybe more.

So to me the real question is not why the company is so valuable - I’ve paid for the software myself and thinks it IS valuable - but why do none of the phone companies include their own version?

Have they actually managed to patent predictive text? Doesn’t seem likely?

(As an aside, there is one current bug, if you use a quotation mark it tends to add it (jumping backwards) to the previous word, instead of simply placing it there ready for the next one. It also once lost all my saved words during an upgrade, which annoyed me enough to make me try various other keyboards on the market. None were as good so I ended up going back with them)