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Paul Allen-backed semantic web startup Evri is buying Twine.com parent Radar Networks — which lets its users create pages (“twines”) on specific topics, like a type of food or art, and then connect with others who share that interest. Allen’s Vulcan Capital is the lead investor in both firms, which have been struggling for much of the last year on their own.
Evri sells its own technology to media firms like Hearst, which uses it to power the automated topic pages on its new LMK.com content aggregation site. Evri has had a very up and down year. The company laid off a quarter of its staff in March in order to conserve cash and also brought in a new CEO in July.
As for Radar Networks, CEO Nova Spivack says his company did not want to sell but was forced to do so because it couldn’t raise additional venture funding. In a blog post, he says Radar Networks had already had to cut 30 percent of its staff and put Twine.com on “auto-pilot” in order to conserve resources for a bigger project.
Evri says that by acquiring Radar it will get an “experienced development team with proven momentum in semantic search and content discovery.” The company also is trying to make a consumer push, relaunching Evri.com, so that users can get “the latest” info on a specific topic there. The company says that the new site — which automatically aggregates its results from various sites around the web — lets users “cut through the clutter and receive only content of interest to them.”
(An aside: Seems like a lot of hype to me, considering that the results appear to be based on what is “trending” on the web at large rather than on my specific behavior).
Evri has raised about $8 million — all from Vulcan Capital; Radar Networks has raised about $18 million, including $13 million in a round in February 2008. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.