If you’ve ever been frustrated with your smartphone’s shoddy keyboard, you’ve probably been recommended SwiftKey as a replacement due to its excellent prediction engine. According to a report from The Financial Times, Microsoft has recognized the quality of SwiftKey’s product, and has acquired the company for $250 million.
The buyout will net founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock upwards of $30 million each, which is a pretty decent sum for a product they created only eight years ago.
SwiftKey has reportedly been installed on more than 300 million devices worldwide, either through a free download from the Play Store or App Store, or via pre-installations on some devices. While SwiftKey does make some money from in-app purchases, they’ve also licensed their technology to other companies for their own stock keyboards or other applications.
Microsoft appears most interested in the artificial intelligence technology behind SwiftKey, which allows the keyboard to make incredibly accurate predictive text suggestions. Considering Microsoft’s own Windows Phone keyboard is pretty solid in the prediction department, the company probably has other interesting plans for SwiftKey’s underlying technology.
With the acquisition of SwiftKey set to be finalized next week, it will join a growing list of app purchases by Microsoft, including other productivity tools like to-do list app Wunderlist, email app Accompli, and calendar app Sunrise.