TechCrunch reports that Amazon has purchased Evi, the natural language search platform that performs similar to Apple’s Siri personal assistant, for $26 million. When the Evi app was originally posted to the App Store in early 2012, Apple threatened to remove it for its similarities to Siri, but later said they would work with the company to allow it to remain.
TechCrunch understands from sources that the company has been sold to Amazon for $26 million. However, calls to Amazon PR, backers Octopus Ventures and the founders of Evi have ben met with a stoney silence. A spokesperson for Octopus told us: “On this occasion Octopus will decline to comment on this specific portfolio company”.
Although the spokesperson declined to comment, TecCrunch reports that other indicators point to a sale late last year.
At UK Companies House all the Evi Technologies Ltd directors have been replaced by Amazon’s UK legal representative, and this is confirmed by the Octopus Ventures annual report. The annual reports of all Octopus Ventuers’ funds all refer to the disposing of their shares in Evi Technologies.
Companies House records show all directors at Evi have been replaced and loans paid off, while a small loss of £19,000 was recognised.
The company behind Evi, True Knowledge, licensed the same Nuance voice recognition technology that Apple uses in Siri. The information offered by Evi is reported to compare favorably with Siri.
It is possible that Amazon could be looking at integrating Evi into its Kindle Fire lineup of devices, or even their rumored Amazon phone.
Evi remains available FREE for the iPhone in the App Store. [DIRECT LINK]