Amazon quietly bought Graphiq, a data visualization company a few months ago to beef up its popular Alexa virtual personal assistant, according to The Los Angeles Times citing unnamed sources.
Graphiq, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., which was known as FindTheBest until it rebranded itself last August, offered tools to help people find and compare products in categories from electronic gadgets to homes. The data trove it has assembled in that time could come in very hand for Amazon (AMZN), which is working hard to make Alexa, the software powering its popular Echo connected home device, smarter and more useful for customers.
The Amazon Echo/Alexa tandem competes with the Google Home device now and will face new rivals come fall when Apple (AAPL) unveils the Apple HomePod and Microsoft (MSFT) comes out with the Microsoft Invoke.
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These companies want consumers to use their respective devices—and the smart software powering them—as their digital valets, useful for finding and ordering products, calling a ride service, playing music—all based on spoken commands.
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Graphiq was co-founded by Kevin O’Connor, who was also one of the forces behind ad tech power DoubleClick, now part of Google (GOOGL). Its site lets people find and compare products and services in categories ranging from electronic gadgets to homes.
Neither Amazon or Graphiq commented for the newspaper. Fortune contacted both companies and will update this report as needed.
Graphiq had raised about $32 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. One source told the Times the deal was worth about $50 million.