Microsoft Buys Text-Analysis Startup Equivio

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) -

Microsoft seems to like something about Israeli data-analysis startups.

The company announced Tuesday that it has acquired text-analysis firm Equivio, a few months after buying cloud security machine-learning startup Aorato.

Equivio’s algorithms sift through documents and emails to group related documents and identify which ones might trigger a company’s confidentiality provisions or other legal labels. With email and computers facilitating an explosion in the number of documents companies and governments produce, sorting through those can quickly turn into a task that requires many hours of work by humans.

The Rosh HaAyin-based company, which on its website also lists an office in Rockville, Md., says its clients include the U.S. Justice Department and auditing and consulting giants KPMG and Deloitte.

The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but The Wall Street Journal reported in October that Microsoft had signed a letter of intent to buy Equivio for about $200 million.

Rajesh Jha, corporate vice president with Outlook and Office for Microsoft, says Equivio’s technology will be integrated into Office 365, the web-based version of the productivity software suite.

“Businesses and governments around the world generate enormous volumes of data every day,” Jha wrote in a blog post. “Sifting through that data to find what is relevant to a legal or compliance matter is costly and time consuming.”