Google Buys Wavii For North Of $30 Million

Google has finally closed the deal on Wavii, a natural language processing startup, for a price that is more than $30 million, we’re hearing from a legitimate source.

Both Apple and Google were competing for the Seattle-based startup, and Google eventually won. Apple wanted the company, which developed its own aggregation technology and natural summarization algorithms, for its Siri division. The 25-person-strong team, including founder Adrian Aoun, will be moving down from Seattle to join Google’s Knowledge Graph division.

While it was previously reported by Business Insider that the two were in acquisition talks, a definitive agreement has now been signed after the Apple/Google bidding war. The buy comes shortly after Yahoo’s $30 million acquisition of aggregator Summly, which, like Wavii, attempted to summarize stories.

Considering the Siri interest, one would think that Wavii would be a better fit for Google Now, as a smarter Siri alternative that actually was aware of important stories and news. But Wavii’s semantic search knowledge is also a valid addition to Google Knowledge, as it could further contextualize the information Google currently shows on the sidebar of most searches. But their NLP and disambiguation tech could also widely be applicable across many Google platforms, including Google News and Google Glass.

At the time of acquisition, Wavii had raised $2 million in seed funding from Max LevchinCrunchFundSV AngelFelicis VenturesMitch KaporFritz LanmanMax VentillaShawn Fanning, Rick Marini and Dave Morin.

We’ve reached out to both Google and Wavii for comment.

Disclosure: In case this is your first time on TechCrunch, CrunchFund was founded by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Hence the “Crunch” in the name, see.


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