Hugging Face Acquires Canadian Startup and Partners With Kik to Become the Most Popular Artificial Intelligence for Teenagers

New York based startup Hugging Face, backed by SV Angel (Snapchat) Betaworks (Giphy, Medium, Tumblr,...) and prominent angel investors like Kevin Durant, is announcing today that they have acquired Sam:), founded by Toronto-based Jonathan Keebler & Matt McCausland.


Starting as a bot to connect people with shared interests, Sam:) discovered teenagers’ interest in chatting with the bot itself & used millions of real conversations to build an artificial intelligence friend for teenagers.


“Jonathan and Matt are experienced founders, who worked very hard on our shared vision for years” said Clement Delangue, the founder of Hugging Face, previously at Moodstocks, a machine learning startup which got acquired by Google. “They built one of the leading bots on Kik, and attracted hundreds of thousands of teenagers. Combined with the technology we’ve developed at Hugging Face, this will reinforce our position as the best artificial intelligence friend for teenagers.”

In addition to this acquisition, Hugging Face is announcing a partnership with Kik, the messaging platform for teenagers, boasting more than 300M users.

Effective immediately, Hugging Face is available on the Kik bot store, allowing users to chat about their day-to-day life, trade selfies, prank their friends and much more.

About Hugging Face: Hugging Face was created in 2016, in New York and Paris. They are backed by Betaworks (Giphy, Bitly, Dots), SV Angel (Snapchat) and prominent investors including Kevin Durant. The startup’s artificial intelligence has exchanged more than 15M messages with users through their mobile app, and has been dubbed the “Artificial Intelligence Friend” by the MIT Tech Review.

About Sam:) Sam:) was created in 2015 in Toronto, Canada, and launched two of the most successful bots on the Kik Bot Shop. By connecting real people for chat, Sam:) accumulated an extensive database of natural conversations. Using artificial intelligence and NLP, Sam:) creates friendly bots that mimic natural human speech.