It’s All about Nu­ance as It Takes over mCar­bon Tech for .₹ 240 cr

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech -

New Delhi: Nas­daq-listed voice and speech recog­ni­tion com­pany Nu­ance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions has ac­quired Noida-based mo­bile value-added ser­vices ven­ture mCar­bon Tech In­no­va­tions in a cash-and-stock trans­ac­tion, es­ti­mated at about $36 mil­lion (.`240 crore).

The deal is the lat­est ex­am­ple of con­sol­i­da­tion tak­ing place in the In­dian startup ecosys­tem, which is ex­pected to see an in­creas­ing num­ber of buy­outs over the next12 months, even as risk cap­i­tal in­vestors con­tinue to re­align their port­fo­lios, and search for ex­its. Emails sent to, both, Nu­ance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mCar­bon Tech In- no­va­tions, did not elicit any re­sponse till the time of go­ing to press. Founded in 2008 by Ra­jesh Raz­dan, mCar­bon Tech In­no­va­tions, which started off fo­cus­ing on core net­work value-added ser­vices, pro­vides in­no­va­tive rev­enue up­lift and cus­tomer value man­age­ment prod­ucts for tele­com op­er­a­tors. The com­pany also op­er­ates in Bangladesh, Mid­dle East and African re­gions, and counts Pri­vate Eq­uity Group, an in­vest­ment arm of JP Morgan, among its in­vestors. One of the early back­ers of the eight year-old com­pany was ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Canaan Part­ners.

ET was un­able to as­cer­tain the ex- act stake held by the in­vestor at the time of the sale. It is also yet un­clear whether the com­pany, which has an em­ployee head­count of over 250, will con­tinue to op­er­ate un­der its cur­rent brand name post the ac­qui­si­tion.

Burling­ton, Mas­sachusetts-head­quar­tered Nu­ance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions which counts bil­lion­aire in­vestor and ac­tivist share­holder Carl Ic­ahn, among its list of in­vestors, is be­lieved to be the com­pany that pro­vided the nec­es­sary voicere­cog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy to build Ap­ple’s Siri, the flag­ship in­tel­li­gent per­sonal as­sis­tant and knowl­edge nav­i­ga­tor for its mo­bile and tablets. The com­pany, which had ear­lier ac­quired ad­vanced speech recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy ven­ture Dragon Sys­tem, com­petes with the likes of Google, IBM and Mi­crosoft, which have also sunk bil­lions of dol­lars in R&D, as they look to es­tab­lish their dom­i­nance in the space.

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