Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Wavii Shuts Down as It’s Officially Acquired by Google

Wavii, which aggregated and summarized news, has been bought by Google.

WaviiNews of the impending deal and its price (“more than $30 million”) had already been widely discussed following Business Insider and TechCrunch reports, so what’s interesting here is what happens to Wavii.

And the answer? It’s being shut down.

“While we won’t continue to offer [our] particular service, we’ll be using our natural language research at Google in ways that may be useful to millions of people around the world,” CEO Adrian Aoun wrote in a post that replaced the Wavii website this morning.

The Seattle-based company had launched about a year ago, and had refocused on mobile a few months back. Given that it had raised $2 million in seed funding in 2010, and had a large staff, this is one of those try-to-raise-more-money-or-try-to-be-bought scenarios. Correction: The company had raised millions more over the past couple years, also in seed money, from investors including Battery Ventures and Madrona Venture Group. However, it had not raised a Series A round.

Wavii has been compared to Summly, the news condenser than Yahoo just bought, but the company was even more atomic than that, as it used semantic analysis to break down long-form news into structured data, and gave users personalized feeds after they specified their interests.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik