Google is close to acquiring news reading startup Wavii, according to a source.
We have reached out to the company and Google. Both Wavii and Google declined to comment.
We don’t know the price range.
Wavii is a Seattle-based startup. It was founded in March 2009, and was in stealth mode for many years. It has a strong list of investors that includes Felicis Investments, SV Angel, CrunchFund, Mitch Kapor, Max Levchin, and others, according to CrunchBase.
Wavii seems to be a lot like Summly, the $30 million summarization company Yahoo acquired.
Time’s tech writer Harry McCracken described Wavii by saying, “Wavii scours the web, finds news, and summarizes it, with links to full articles from an array of sources.”
It was founded by Adrian Aoun, a former Microsoft employee. A year ago we reported that it was getting acquisition offers from Google and Microsoft before it even launched.
The difference between Summly and Wavii, and the reason it’s drawn so much interest is that it uses its own natural language summarization technology.
In an interview with us last year, Aoun said, “Since a young age, I had been surrounded by the study of language. My father, a linguist who studied under Chomsky at MIT, taught me plenty about how humans learn to speak. I realised I could mimic this learning with a piece of software, and in essence, get a computer to read the web, and thus power the product that I wanted to build.”
We’re not sure what Google is going to do with Wavii, but it seems like something that could fit with Google+ or Google News.