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Nuance Communications Pays $102.5M for Swype

Nuance Communications Inc. is paying $102.5 million to buy venture-backed Swype, Reuters reported Friday. Swype’s technology allows users to drag their finger across smart phone keyboards in one continuous motion to type words. Nuance has already paid $77.5 million toward the deal and will pay a remaining $25 million eighteen months after closing. Swype was backed by Samsung Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Benaroya Capital, DoCoMo Capital and Ignition Partners.

(Reuters) – Speech and digital imaging software maker Nuance Communications Inc. said it has bought Swype Inc for $102.5 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission.

Swype makes a keyboard which allows users to input words on a touchscreen device by sliding a finger or a stylus from letter to letter and is one of the most popular alternative keyboards for devices running on Google Inc’s Android operating system.

Nuance also offers an alternative on the Android platform — the FlexT9 keyboard, which gives users the ability to speak, trace, write or tap their info in, using different predictive text technologies.

Nuance said it has already paid $77.5 million and will pay the remaining $25 million eighteen months after closing the deal, provided certain key executives do not terminate their employment with Nuance.

The deal marks Nuance’s fourth acquisition this year.

In August Nuance, which makes the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, bought Telecom Italia’s speech technology unit Loquendo for about $74.66 million.

Shares of the Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance closed at $21.89 on Thursday on Nasdaq.