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October 1, 1998

LERNOUT & HAUSPIE BUYS STARTUP TIKSOFT FOR $12M

By CBR Staff Writer

Belgian company Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV announced late on Thursday that it had paid $12m in cash and shares for TikSoft LLC, a Burlingame, California-based developer of speech recognition technology. TikSoft, founded just last year, has created speech recognition software that enables users of most Windows applications to control menus and hot key commands using what it describes as ‘conversational speech.’ L&H said the deal was designed to bolster its efforts in a newly-formed Desktop Applications Unit, part of the company’s Dictation Division. L&H says it is experiencing rapidly growing demand for speech enabled applications running on the PC. Additionally, TikSoft claims to have developed the world’s first talking virtual pet, raising the unpleasant prospect of a world full of talking Tamagotchis.

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