China’s Alibaba Group Holding has acquired German data analysis firm Data Artisans. Photo: Reuters.

INTERNATIONAL – China’s Alibaba Group Holding has acquired German data analysis firm Data Artisans, the Berlin-based startup said, in a deal reported to be worth around €90 million (R1.4 billion).

The transaction marks the first full takeover by a Chinese company on Berlin’s growing startup scene. In the last significant deal, Alibaba’s rival Tencent Holdings participated in a $160m (R2.2bn) funding round for online bank N26 in March 2018.

Data Artisans chief executive Kostas Tzoumas said Alibaba would also invest an undisclosed sum in the company to develop Apache Flink, its open-source software that can process large data volumes, and to expand into new business areas.

The price of the deal was reported to be €90m in the media, including German newspaper Handelsblatt. Data Artisans declined to comment on the purchase price.

Alibaba, which competes with e-commerce group Amazon.com, has been a customer of Data Artisans since 2016. The German company, which was founded in 2014, also serves clients including Netflix and Uber. 

“Typical use cases include live fraud detection, direct interaction with internet users and real-time financial transactions,” said Tzoumas.

Alibaba said this week it was deepening its partnership with Data Artisans and collaborating to develop software that can process large amounts of data.

Reuters