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SpinVox sold to US rival for $102.5m

Nuance takes over voicemail-to-text start-up
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor on

Nuance takes over voicemail-to-text start-up

UK voicemail-to-text company SpinVox has been acquired by US speech and imaging software firm Nuance.

Under the deal announced last week, Nuance will pay $66m in cash and $36.5m in Nuance common stock for the company.

The deal is worth $102.5m in total - around half the value of investment money put into the UK start-up.

SpinVox HQ

The SpinVox HQ last summer
(Photo credit: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com)

SpinVox, which raised more than $200m in investment over its lifetime from backers including Goldman Sachs, faced a media storm last summer following a BBC report claiming it used call centre staff rather than voice recognition technology to transcribe the majority of voicemails.

SpinVox refuted the claims, inviting journalists to view a demo of its Voice Message Conversion System at its HQ in Marlow, Buckinghamshire - click here to read silicon.com's report on the SpinVox demo day.

Nuance's VP of voice-to-text services, John Pollard, said SpinVox's infrastructure, language support and operational experience will be of use to the company, adding that Nuance will continue to use its own speech recognition platform to power voicemail-to-text services, and will integrate it with SpinVox's carrier services.

SpinVox claims to have almost 100 million users worldwide and its CEO Christina Domecq has previously predicted the company would be cashflow positive in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In a statement about the acquisition on its website, SpinVox said: "Nuance will leverage SpinVox's carrier-grade voice-to-text infrastructure, network product portfolio, multi-language support and experienced UK-based development teams to further drive and accelerate adoption of voice-to-text around the world."

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