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Friday, October 7, 2011

Nuance to buy Swype for $100 million, report says

Swype lets you compose words by continuously dragging your finger from letter to letter instead of individually pecking at each key.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Nuance Communications is spending $100 million to acquire Swype, the company behind one of the most popular alternative keyboards for Android devices, according to an Uncrunched report that cited unidentified sources.

Representatives for Nuance and Swipe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Swype, founded in 2002 by Cliff Kushler, the inventor of the T9 keyboard technology for numeric keypads, is a text-input technology for touch-screen laptops and smartphones that utilizes swipes across the keyboard instead of tapping on the keys. The Seattle-based company, which has about 80 employees, expects its technology to be preloaded on 100 million devices worldwide by the end of the year.

Nuance, which dominates the voice dictation business for Windows, ventured into the mobile market in 2010 by releasing Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search for iPhone users.

Swype announced in July that it had raised $2.5 million in series C financing from existing investors Samsung Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Benaroya Capital, Docomo Capital, and Ignition Partners, bringing the company's total series C financing to $6 million.