Exit watch, March 19, 2007

Microsoft buys speech recognition company Tellme for $800M

Microsoft Corp.

has agreed to acquire Tellme Networks Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of voice applications like directory assistance and mobile search. No financial terms were disclosed, although a source close to the deal says it was “just shy of $800 million.” Tellme raised about $263 million during 1999 and 2000 from such investors as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, AT&T, Amerindo, Bowman Capital and Van Wagoner Capital Management. Some of the VC shares since have been acquired on the secondary market by Millennium Technology Ventures and Saints Capital.

Cisco continues buying spree with NeoPath

Cisco Systems

has agreed to acquire NeoPath Networks Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of network file management solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. NeoPath has raised $29 million in VC funding since 2004 from such investors as Cisco, August Capital, DCM-Doll Capital Management, Gabriel Venture Partners, HighBar Ventures and Dot Edu Ventures.

This year, Cisco has also announced acquisitions of Utah Street Networks, Five Across Inc., Reactivity and IronPort Systems.

Takeda acquires U.K. drug company

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (Tokyo: 4502) has agreed to acquire Paradigm Therapeutics Ltd., a Cambridge, U.K.-based developer of drug targets identified from the human genome. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close within the next few weeks. Paradigm has raised nearly $40 million in VC funding since 2000 from such firms as Avlar BioVentures, Bio*One Capital, Merlin Biosciences and Technomark Medical Ventures.

Oxford picks up Oxxon for $30M

Oxford BioMedica

(LSE: OXB) has agreed to acquire Oxxon Therapeutics Ltd., a U.K.-based therapeutic vaccine company, for about $30 million. Oxxon has raised more than $30 million in VC funding from such firms as NeoMed Management, ISIS Capital, MVM Life Science Partners, NIF and Quester Capital Management.

JobFlash sold for $3M

Taleo Corp.

(Nasdaq: TLEO) has agreed to acquire the assets of JobFlash Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based provider of telephone-based automated recruiting software and services. The deal is valued at about $3 million in cash, and is expected to close later this quarter. JobFlash had raised about $6.1 million in VC funding since 2003 from such investors as the Band of Angels, Maveron and Mosaic Venture Partners.

Zaio to buy Realink

Zaio Corp.

(TSX-V: ZAO) has agreed to acquire the assets of Realink Corp., a Tempe, Ariz.-based provider of services to the appraisal and mortgage banking industry. The deal is valued at $3.4 million in stock. Realink has raised VC funding from such firms as Insight Venture Partners, True North Partners and Blackwater Capital. —PE Week staff