The aim of Bechtle’s majority shareholding is to combine application-oriented AI research with the sales strength of Germany’s largest IT system house. In doing so, both partners also aim to strengthen the AI ecosystem in Europe and take a leading role in future innovations. In the past fiscal year, Planet AI turned over 3.1 million euros, notwithstanding its focus on research and development.
“As an IT partner of the future, we aim to make our customers successful in the long term through future-oriented technologies,” says Michael Guschlbauer, Member of the Executive Board, IT System House & Managed Services, Bechtle AG. “With the innovative developments of Planet AI, we strengthen the central business processes of our customers through excellent AI applications.”
Management of Planet AI remains on board
The existing management team, including the founders of Planet AI, will remain in the company in a new constellation: Jesper Kleinjohann takes over as CEO, Welf Wustlich remains in the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Hagen Wustlich moves to the company’s advisory board. Brothers Hagen and Welf Wustlich have been involved with artificial neural networks for more than thirty years and founded Planet intelligent systems, which became Planet AI, back in 1992. “We know the superior quality of our developments. To accelerate our growth, we have so far lacked a partner with very broad access to the market and the capabilities to further scale our solutions. Bechtle brings both – and the will to jointly leverage the enormous benefits of AI in the world of work,” says Jesper Kleinjohann, CEO, Planet AI.
Deep Learning is Planet AI
Planet AI is considered an internationally recognized specialist in Deep Learning, a sub-field of machine learning in which the use of artificial neural networks plays an essential role. The core product is a multifunctional software platform that is significantly superior to comparable solutions in terms of accuracy and enables companies to automatically process handwritten and typed documents, receipts and texts, classify document types and extract information. Further areas of application are in the field of image and speech recognition.
The investment in Planet AI is not subject to any conditions imposed by the antitrust authorities. As usual, the parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Bechtle has a call option to acquire the remaining 49 percent of the company.
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