Microsoft buys Nuance for $19.7B, expands voice biometrics footprint
Microsoft is expanding its speech biometrics offerings for businesses and governments with the acquisition of Nuance Communications. Microsoft, which first proposed the deal in December 2020, will acquire Nuance at $56 per share, 23 percent over Nuance’s latest stock closing value at $45.58 per share.
The deal would furthermore boost the speech recognition firm’s value to approximately $19.7 billion, making Nuance the second-largest acquisition after Microsoft’s 2016 purchase of LinkedIn for $27 billion. This milestone would follow Nuance’s recent global partnerships to provide its voice biometrics solution to call centers across various industries such as banking.
In 2020, Nuance reportedly recorded a net income of $7 million on approximately $346 million in revenue in the fourth quarter. The company, which is headquartered in Massachusetts, has grown since 1992 and as of September 2020 counts 7,100 employees. In 2019, Nuance and Microsoft partnered up to provide AI-driven voice biometrics for healthcare applications to improve the doctor-patient experience.
This latest addition expands Microsoft’s business and government-focused services. While Microsoft already offers developer tools to integrate speech recognition, buying Nuance greatly increases the company’s speech recognition capabilities.