Nuance Goes All-in on Speech Tech, Sells Document Business to Kofax for $400M

Nuance Communications is selling its document imaging division to Kofax for $400 million in cash, as Nuance’s new CEO narrows the company’s focus on its conversational artificial intelligence products and cloud-related technologies.

Nuance’s (NASDAQ: NUAN) document imaging business provides enterprise software tools for securely capturing data from print or electronic documents, printing documents, and uploading and accessing documents from mobile devices, among other capabilities. Kofax is scooping up the business to help it compete in the burgeoning field of “robotic process automation” companies, which seek to automate monotonous business operations. The sector has seen some big deals lately, including a $225 million venture capital investment in New York-based UiPath in September and a $250 million funding round for San Jose, CA-based Automation Anywhere in July. Irvine, CA-based Kofax was part of imaging firm Lexmark International, which sold it to private equity firm Thoma Bravo last year.

As for Nuance, the Burlington, MA-based company will now sharpen its focus on speech and cloud technologies—and “accelerate the transformation well underway” at the firm, CEO Mark Benjamin said in a prepared statement. Benjamin took the helm in April, after serving as chief operating officer of Atlanta-based NCR (NYSE: NCR). He succeeded Paul Ricci, who retired from Nuance earlier this year.

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