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IVR - Nuance Communications Acquires Swype for $102.5 Million
November 04, 2011

Nuance Communications Acquires Swype for $102.5 Million

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Nuance (News - Alert), a provider of voice recognition software, announced it is buying rival company Swype (News - Alert) for an estimated $102.5 million. Both companies are based in the U.S.

Though Swype doesn’t make voice recognition software, like Nuance, it provides an alternative to typing on a keyboard or touchscreen.

Swype offers an alternative keyboard solution for running on Google’s (News - Alert) Android and Nokia OYJ's Symbian mobile-phone operating systems. It allows users to input words on these devices by sliding a finger or stylus from letter to letter.

Nuance is now powering the Siri voice recognition application in Apple's new iPhone 4S. This acquisition will further strengthen the company’s hold in mobile device market, according to a report from ITWorld.

The partnership, according to FBR Capital Markets & Co analyst Daniel Ives as told to Reuters (News - Alert), also intends to strengthen the company’s patent portfolio – a trend commonly seen in recent tech acquisitions.

Nuance has been on acquisition spree. Recently the company announced the acquisition of Loquendo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia, for $75 million. Prior to that in July, the company acquired medical transcription and editing services vendor Webmedx for an undisclosed amount.

Earlier in June, Nuance acquired Equitrac, a provider of print management and cost recovery software vendor, as well as SVOX, a provider of speech technology solutions.

The deal for Swype is mostly paid for, according to ITWorld. Nuance has already paid $77.5 million to Swype shareholders, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Swype previously raised venture capital funding from Nokia (News - Alert) Growth Partners, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Benaroya Company, DoCoMo Capital, Ignition Partners and Samsung Ventures America.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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