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Alibaba acquires startup to fund data processing platform

E-commerce marketplace giant Alibaba has acquired German technology firm Data Artisans in an effort to fund development of the startups data processing framework Apache Flink.

The acquisition is reportedly worth $145.20 million (€90 million), according to a report by Reuters.

Apache Flink is an open source stream-processing platform for real-time analytics and real-time applications, according to the Data Artisans’ website, enabling simplified data processing as it is produced or received.

The platform is also used by eBay, Uber, Lyft and Otto Group, among others.

“Especially at times when many open source technologies and companies decide on a less collaborative and more ‘closed’ approach, it is with great pleasure to see Alibaba committed to open source and our mission,” Data Artisan co-founders Kostas Tzoumas and Stephen Ewen wrote in a blog post.

“We can expand to new areas that we have not explored in the past and make sure that Flink becomes a more valuable data processing framework for the modern data-driven, real-time enterprise.”

Alibaba will offer its own in-house modifications to Apache Flink, named Blink, to the open source community which uses the framework.

Alibaba has been working with Data Artisans since 2016, and the acquisition was “a natural next step for the companies”, according to a record in Alibaba’s media arm, Alizila.

“By leveraging the technology expertise of both teams and shared passion to develop the open-source community, we are confident that this strategic tie-in will further strengthen the growth of the Flink community,” Alibaba Group vice president Jingren Zhou said.

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