Cisco bringing advanced search to Spark platform with Synata acquisition

Cisco announced it has purchased Synata, a search startup that allows users to search across on-premise or cloud repositories simultaneously. Cisco plans to integrate the Synata technology into its Spark communications platform (which should not to be confused with Apache Spark).

While Cisco usually reveals purchase prices, because it was under $100 million, it chose to keep this one to itself.

Cisco’s Rowan Trollope writing in a company blog post said Synata gives Cisco an enhanced search experience it’s been, well, searching for and been unable to create completely itself. While it was able to solve a hard problem of encrypting search queries, the index, the content and delivering results back to the user; it wanted this ability to search across repositories it lacked. Synata gives Cisco Spark that.

“It gives us the ability to search indexed third party content sources with a single pane of glass. We want to have incredible search. We want to improve the search we have today. The Synata guys have the technology to help us do that,” Trollop told TechCrunch.

The other thing that Synata will give the Spark platform is graph search, which could be extremely valuable in a communications platform because you can search across the index and the connections people have made with one another while interacting across the platform.

Cisco’s Rob Salvagno writing in a separate blog post was also excited about the possibilities that Synata search technology is bringing to the company and how it will integrate with Cisco Spark.

“Their search technology will also work within Cisco Spark’s unique approach to end-to-end encryption in the cloud, which makes them a great fit for our team. Like us, they prioritize cloud development that allows customers to have privacy and control of their data at all times,” he wrote.

In a note on the company website, Synata CEO Pat White indicated that the company officially shut down two days ago and that the entire team and its intellectual property were now part of Cisco.

Synata was founded in 2012 and has raised a modest $1.45 million, according to CrunchBase.

The Spark communications platform is a collaboration tool that provides a way for teams to communicate and collaborate on projects like Slack. There are versions for iPhone and Android, Mac and Windows and a web version too.

Cisco also announced it was launching a $150 million fund to encourage third party developers to build applications, bots and integrations on top of the Spark platform.