A new SEC document filed by communication technology company Nuance today reveals that the company paid $102.5 million to acquire Swype — with $77.5 million paid upfront and the remaining amount in 18 months.
Swype is best known for its touch screen-based predictive text technology, which allows people to draw (or swipe) characters instead of typing individual buttons on a graphical keyboard. Its Swype application is optimized for many different devices, like smartphones, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles and more.
It’s not surprising that Nuance would be interested in buying Swype. Nuance’s T9 predictive text software, which is used on over 3 billion mobile phones worldwide, is a direct competitor to Swype’s application. Also, Swype’s co-founder Cliff Kushler created the T9 technology. So basically, Nuance would be eliminating competition, (potentially) gaining new talent and gaining a hot new product (the Swype application).
Founded in 2002, Seattle-based Swype has $13.9 million total funding from Samsung Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Benaroya Capital, DoCoMo Capital, Ignition Partners and others.