SpinVox sold to US firm for $102m

Over the Christmas break voice to text firm SpinVox confirmed long standing rumours that it was up for sale by announcing its acquisition by speech recognition firm Nuance.

Nuance, which is based in Silicon Valley in the US, is to buy the firm for approximately $102.5m, comprising $66m in cash and $36.5m in Nuance common stock.

Nuance plans to integrate SpinVox’s carrier services with its own speech recognition platform to help it scale to meet the needs of its customer base. This means Nuance will have a carrier-grade voice-to-text service that handle millions of messages per day, with support for English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Portuguese among other languages.

The acquisition comes as no surprise, despite SpinVox co-founder Christina Domecq telling the firm was most definitely not looking for a buyer late last summer. Perhaps it wasn’t back then, but SpinVox has attracted more than its fair share of controversy over the past year, capped in September by Invesco Perpetual, which owns a small stake in SpinVox, writing down the value of its £759,000 investment in the firm by 90 per cent. Invesco also made claims that the business was up for sale.

The business received a £15m cash injection from investors to see it through the end of 2009 and launched a share offer scheme under which employees were able to substitute some or all of their paychecks for shares to “help SpinVox manage its cashflow”. But Nuance will not be taking on the company’s debts – thought to be around £30m – by the looks of things.

One comment

  1. Avatar App Developer 04/01/2010 @ 3:06 pm

    I’d say Christina just got a very lucky break!

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