AOL buys Relegence

Relegence has just been snapped up by AOL.

If you don’t know them, their solution background scans thousands of news sources /blogs /websites and identifies relevant information based upon filters/search criteria specified by the user. It thus eliminates the noise and also uses a relevancy measure to heat map the information. Users receive alerts when “events” occur.

In some respects, it and Monitor110 share similar characteristics in terms of focus – news discovery/monitoring/detection which is then filtered for relevance to the user. Likewise both are targeted at the financial services community, where getting to such information fastest is often the difference between making & losing millions for which users are willing to pay huge sums for an advantage.

In my opinion this is a great trade for Relegence, who already have a decent client list. Whilst the financial terms have not been published, they were on an upcurve with great prospects, which is always attractive to a buyer.

AOL will be in a position to take this vertical market offering and extend it into other verticals. After all, many other industries will benefit from filtering out the ever increasing noise, albeit the timeliness element may not be as significant and hence less valuable. But then with scale across multiple verticals, so what!

Its also interesting that in the last 4 months I have seen a number of firms pitching to me similar ideas, including one today. Sadly, many of them seem ignorant of their competition – not that they should be focussed on that, but at least avoid looking daft when someone like me challenges the “uniqueness of the solution” by pointing out at least 5 other firms doing something in the same space and then looking at me in shock. But it also evidences the interest in this space.

Relegence was a 60 person company, so in dealing with some of its potential capital markets customers, it may have looked small & insignificant (admittedly it would just be the stupid ones that filtered on this basis, but then there’s enough of those around) – but with AOL behind it, that won’t be the case anymore. Indeed, some of the stupid firms may just cosy up to Relegence in the misguided belief it will bring them closer to a relationship with AOL.

Consequently, I have to disagree with Alacra

Comment posted by Anonymous
at 11/10/2006 12:33:00 AM
But where does this fit with anything else AOL does. Relegence is exclusively b2b and AOL is exclusively b2c. There are much cheaper and no doubt more scalable ways for AOL to provide filtering to their customers.
Steve Goldstein, CEO, Alacra

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