Vancouver’s Mobify pursues machine learning, acquires fellow B.C. startup Pathful

Mobify founder Igor Faletski | Submitted

Mobify is keeping its expansion into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) close to home.

The Vancouver-based startup announced Monday (April 19) it has acquired fellow local tech company Pathful in a bid to acquire technology capable of advanced machine learning to study and adapt to users’ behaviour.

Mobify specializes in optimizing retailers' websites across multiple platforms, including smartphones and tablets.

Founder and CEO Igor Faletski told Business In Vancouver the deal to acquire Pathful would help his company provide more tailored messages sent to customers on behalf of brands.

“We’re seeing a big shift in the market happening towards messaging as a way to interact with mobile shoppers,” he said.

Last week, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media giant would introduce AI-powered chatbots to its Facebook Messenger service.

Chatbots learn users’ habits and can respond directly to requests for products and services. For example, instead of using an app to buy tickets to a movie, a chatbot would be able to do so on behalf of a user upon request.

For Mobify, Faletski said the acquisition of Pathful’s technology means consumers should expect a better customer experience with fewer “spammy” messages filling their inboxes.

“We already offer messaging functionality for different channels and we look forward to adding additional new channels, like Facebook Messenger,” he said.

Financial details of the acquisition were not released but all of Pathful’s workers are now under the roof of Mobify’s Yaletown office, which houses about 150 employees.