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Zoom Acquires Kites Translation Technology

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Zoom Video Communications acquires Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions (KITES). The German start-up develops real-time solutions for machine translation.


Kites were founded in 2015 and have their roots in the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where co-founders Dr Alex Waibel and Dr Sebastian Stüker are faculty members. The intention is that the Kites team, which consists of twelve research scientists, will support Zoom’s engineers in developing machine translation for Zoom’s products.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to make our users happier and improve meeting productivity. MT solutions play a huge role in improving our platform for Zoom customers around the world,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, Zoom’s president of Product and Engineering, in a press release.

It is not known how much Zoom has paid for the company. Dr Stüker and the rest of the Kites team will remain based in Karlsruhe, Germany. Zoom plans to build its team further. Zoom is also exploring the possibility of opening an R&D centre in Germany in the future. Dr Waibel becomes a Zoom Research Fellow; in this role, he advises Zoom on MT research and further solutions.

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