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Nuance To Buy Spinvox For $150 Million?

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British Startup Spinvox could be acquired by US-based Speech specialist company Nuance for around $150 million according to sources close to the deal.

The Independent and Sunday Times have both reported that investors in the company, that have poured more than $100 million altogether, are hoping that Nuance, or another company (Cisco has also been named), could be interested in the intellectual property of the company.

It was also revealed that the repayment of a £30 million loan provided to Spinvox by one of its investors which was due very soon has been postponed until January 2010 to allow the takeover process to be completed.

Nuance was the one named as being most likely to buy the troubled British company and the sum of $150 million has been put forward with a completion date likely to happen before Christmas, that's in less than 11 days.

The company - which is known for its Dragon Naturally Speaking Speech recognition software - also acquired IBM's voice related technology patents earlier this year as it builds its portfolio in the speech and text solution market.

Skype might even be interested in acquiring Spinvox as it is already making use of the company's Voice to Text services at 25 cents a pop.

Six year old Spinvox hit the buffers earlier back in July when the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones found out that the company relied heavily on Indian call-center workers to translate voice mails into text messages.

The startup, which claimed to have a user base of more than 100 million customers, is headed by one of the very few female CEOs in the tech industry, Christine Domerq.

It has successfully signed the likes of Telefonica and Telstra in South America and Australia respectively but it might be too little, too late. You can follow our Spinvox series of articles here.

Our Comments

Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC reckons that Nuance could be eyeing the much smaller Spinvox because the latter managed to build partnerships with the likes of Vodafone or Telefonica and it might also be interested in D2, Spinvox automated message conversion system.

Related Links

Spinvox: A question of Nuance? (opens in new tab)

(BBC)

Sale close for troubled SpinVox? (opens in new tab)

(Businessweekly)

Troubled SpinVox at centre of American interest (opens in new tab)

(Independent)

Spinvox close to being sold (opens in new tab)

(TelecomTV)

Spinvox close to accepting £92 million takeover (opens in new tab)

(Times Online)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.