Reuters buys Israeli start-up ClearForest

ClearForest has developed text analysis solutions for business intelligence applications.

Reuters Group plc (LSE: RTR; Nasdaq:PTRSY) has acquired Israeli text analysis technology developer ClearForest Ltd. for about $30 million. The companies are due to announce the deal today, before trading begins on Nasdaq.

ClearForest chairman and chief scientist Dr. Ronen Feldman and CTO Dr Yonatan Aumann founded the company in 1998. Aumann is the son of Nobel Prize for Economics Laureate Prof. Israel Aumann. Both founders were members of the Bar Ilan University Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. Originally called Instinct Software, the company developed data mining solutions, but changed its name and model a few years later and now develops digital text analysis solutions.

ClearForest’s unstructured data management software creates usable data for decision-making. The company’s solution marks the key points in a text, such as persons, companies, or events, and turns them into a structured text that is easier to analyze for research and business intelligence purposes by a company.

ClearForest’s co-founders still own minority stakes in the company. The company has raised $33 million from Greylock Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Walden Israel, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., ABS Ventures (Deutsche Bank Alex Brown), Dow Venture Capital,, JP Morgan Partners, HabourVest Partners LLC, and other investors.

Reuters began negotiating to acquire ClearForest while the latter was undergoing an additional financing round. Reuters is one of the company’s largest customers. Other major customers are Dow Jones Newswires, publisher Elsevier Science BV, and the FBI. According to IVC Online, ClearForest posted $6 million in sales in 2006.

ClearForest has 31 employees. Its CEO is Barak Pridor. Headquartered in Boston, the company has a development center in Or Yehuda. Under the acquisition agreement, the company will operate under Reuters Search and Strategy Division, headed by Gary Campbell.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on April 30, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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