Rovi is acquiring Veveo, a search and recommendations technology provider for video and mobile/connected devices, for $62 million cash plus $7 million in incentive payments. In a briefing, John Moakley, Rovi's EVP of Data Solutions, explained that Veveo's search and recommendations are attractive as a compliment to Rovi's core metadata and analytics solutions. Rovi has been working on its own search and recommendations capabilities which Veveo will now augment. John sees the combined end-to-end product as leapfrogging other solutions in the market.
In particular, John highlighted Veveo's expertise in natural language processing and its "Knowledge Graph," which dynamically maps content to users' queries. Veveo's Reveal product provides a "conversational interface" that allows voice-based search, but in a more casual mode than is typical with Siri and other voice-based models. Veveo's core platform, the SmartRelevance Conversational Platform, includes multiple elements from data collection to analysis to the front-end interface, which I described in this post from November, 2012 in full detail.
At that time Veveo was serving over 100 million set-top boxes and mobile devices. John said that AT&T, Cablevision and Verizon are among Veveo's current customers.
Veveo has filed over 80 patents, with over 50 granted. All 60 of its employees will join Rovi, with its main Andover, MA office to be combined into Rovi's existing Cambridge, MA facility. This is the second acquisition in the search and recommendations technology space in the last few weeks, as TiVo acquired Digitalsmiths in late January.
(Note: Rovi is a VideoNuze sponsor)