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Twitter buys a London-based tech startup founded by two young graduates for $150m

Magic Pony Technology – which uses machine-learning to improve low quality images and video – has been bought by Twitter in a reported $150m deal only two years after launching.

The London-based tech startup, launched in 2014, uses its software to boost low-quality video recordings via the use of patterns and textures.

Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, both under-30 and recent alumni of Imperial College London, created the firm to address infrastructure issues affecting video messaging apps.

A statement on the company’s website said: “We’re excited to announce that we’re joining forces with Twitter to use our technology to improve the visual experiences that are delivered across their apps.

“Together with Twitter, we’re looking forward to vastly accelerating our rate of research; growing our team, which will serve as the European homebase for Twitter’s machine learning efforts; and continuing to publish.

“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we think is possible in this area and are excited to see what the future holds.”

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said: “Magic Pony’s technology – based on research by the team to create algorithms that can understand the features of imagery – will be used to enhance our strength in live and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter.”

Magic Pony Technology is the second start-up supported by Innovate UK to be bought by a technology giant.

Language tech business and predictive keyboard app developer SwiftKey was acquired by Microsoft in a $250 million deal in February.

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