Autonomy to buy Virage

Autonomy have announced that they will be buying video and audio search company, Virage. They plan to pay $1.10 per share, valuing Virage at around $24.8 million, but given Virage’s expected cash balance of $11.5m, Autonomy are only really paying $13.5m – around $0.60/share. It’s not surprisingly this is a far cry from the head days of Jul 2000 when they peaked at $26 a share.

Virage has been around since 1995 when they starting off by offering the indexing of video content. Users were initially able to search for words spoken during a video, which was later expanded to include close captions text, and later on, even the ability to find instances of a person from a library of user-defined faces. They went on to expanded their offering to include streaming encoding and Webcasting services.

Their offering was always thought of as a bit hollow, but their profile always remained high, backed up with a huge spend on marketing. It appears that this formula has continued as total year revenues to March 2003 were $12.9 million and its net loss was $18.1 million.

Autonomy say their are primarily buying them for their customer base.