Why a Flextronics Subsidiary Just Bought a Machine Learning Startup

Electronics giant Flextronics, through its solar gear subsidiary NEXTracker, has acquired a young startup called BrightBox Technologies, which builds predictive modeling and machine learning software, the companies announced late on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. NEXTracker makes hardware, called trackers, which automatically tilt solar panels throughout the day to face the sun to increase the amount of power that panels generate. These trackers are generally used on large solar panel farms in remote locations that sell their power to utilities or large companies. Flextronics (now called Flex) itself bought NEXTracker last year for $330 million. Now, NEXTracker is acquiring BrightBox Technologies, a three-year-old company based in Berkeley, Calif. that has developed software to optimize heating and cooling systems in buildings. NEXTracker will use the company’s software—and the…


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