Video Discovery Specialist Rovi Acquires Voice Search Startup Veveo For Up To $69 Million

Rovi has announced that it will soon add advanced voice search to its portfolio of tricks, through the acquisition of video discovery startup Veveo. Rovi will pay $62 million in cash for the company and its IP at closing, and up to $7 million in additional payments based on certain performance milestones.

With Veveo’s technology, Rovi will be able to add a whole new voice search capability to its video discovery platform. The startup, which was founded years ago, uses a mix of natural language processing and semantic technologies to plug intuitive search and recommendation features into video discovery applications.

The voice search engine can follow a wide range of conversational commands and learns as it goes, so that users don’t have to keep repeating themselves when searching through a bunch of videos. It can understand when users are searching for a specific movie, cast member, or genre, and can refine searches within those parameters based on additional information that the user provides. Over time, it can even offer personalized recommendations based on previous searches.

In short, Veveo is basically like Siri, if Siri actually worked.

Already, Veveo is being used behind the scenes by a number of device manufacturers and service providers, and it has more than 80 patent applications filed, with 50 granted to date.

It’s that combination of IP and customers that probably has Rovi really excited. By combining Veveo with its own metadata offering, Rovi should be able to get more customers to use its video discovery services, which can be embedded in connected devices, set-top boxes, and third-party video apps.

Rovi announced that the acquisition will likely lower its adjusted pro forma income per share by 3-6 cents, but that it would contribute double-digit revenue growth and be accretive in fiscal 2015.