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Summary:

The deal appears to be a bargain for Nuance, which gets some large carrier customers and new languages with the acquisition. These should help as Nuance takes on both Google and Microsoft as voice recognition continues to expand into the mainstream.

Christina Domecq, SpinVox CEO

Nuance Communications finally pocketed SpinVox for a paltry $102.5 million, ending weeks of speculation about the fate of the troubled startup. The news marks a dramatic downturn for the company, which last year raised $100 million from a host of investors at a $500 million valuation.

SpinVox — which may have been pressed to sell thanks to its current struggle to repay a $48.8 million loan — boasts a fairly impressive list of customers including Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Vodafone Spain and Skype, and the company’s algorithms and language databases probably hold some value. So the deal appears to be a bargain for Nuance, which gets some large carrier customers and new languages with the acquisition. These should help as Nuance takes on both Google and Microsoft as voice recognition continues to expand into the mainstream thanks to mobile phones. For the investors who backed the startup so strongly, though, it’s a costly resolution to SpinVox’s troubled run.

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By Colin Gibbs

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  1. I find it intriguing that this and other publications almost always include a photo of the company’s female CEO with every article on Spinvox. I rarely see photos of other CEOs so consistently accompanying articles written on their companies.

    1. Good point Ian. What is the deal with including her picture? Why not their company logo?

  2. The allegations against the CEO published in The Times a while back were interesting. No smoke without fire.

  3. Complete List of Q4 2009 Web, Internet and Tech Acquisitions » The StartUp Blog at PartnerUp Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    [...] SpinVox is a London-based technology startup that transcribes voicemails to text. Press Release   TechCrunch   VentureBeat   GigaOM [...]

  4. Complete List of 2009 Web, Internet and Tech Acquisitions » The StartUp Blog at PartnerUp Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    [...] SpinVox is a London-based technology startup that transcribes voicemails to text. Press Release TechCrunch VentureBeat GigaOM [...]

  5. Why On-the-Fly Mobile Translation Technology Won’t Happen Soon – GigaOM Monday, February 8, 2010

    [...] field — Nuance, which has continued to expand its portfolio with the recent acquisitions of SpinVox and Jott , would be a particularly attractive (if expensive) [...]

  6. Nuance Killing SpinVox’s D2C Service – GigaOM Friday, March 19, 2010

    [...] algorithm, as the company had claimed. Nuance ended up pocketing SpinVox last December for a mere $102.5 million in an effort to better compete in the voice recognition space against Google and [...]

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