Feeds

Nuance closes in on Spinvox

£30m bridging loan extended to allow deal

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Spinvox is set to be taken over by a US speech recognition firm days before it is due to repay a £30m bridging loan, The Times reports.

Spinvox hit the skids last summer, when it emerged that its speech to text service had been powered in large part by humans, rather than computers.

In August, one of its backers, John Botts, extended a new loan to the firm through his Tisbury Master Fund. This was due to be paid at the end of this week.

The Times yesterday reported that Massachusetts-based Nuance Communications has made a $150m offer for Spinvox, which the British firm is "close to accepting".

Nuance was first cited as a saviour back in September. Since then, Spinvox has laid off staff at its Marlow HQ.

The deal could be sealed before Christmas.

In the meantime, The Times reports, Botts has rolled over his loan to January to allow the deal to proceed.

With £100m of investors' money reportedly burned through to date, The Times says some backers will see some payback, though many will be left empty-handed.

Co-founder Daniel Doulton is expected to stay with the firm after the deal is concluded. The Times describes his partner Christina Domecq's future as "less clear", and says she is not likely to realise anything from the sell-off.

Spinvox had been touted as a great British success story until the wheels started to come off over the summer, and the firm was forced to admit it needed humans in call centres to supplement its technology.

One of the most bizarre of its twists and turns was the appointment of industry veteran Patricia Russo as a director - only for the former Lucent boss to resign almost immediately. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.