Smart speaker brand Sonos has revealed in the quarterly earnings report that it has acquired voice assistant startup Snips in a cash deal worth $37 million. Variety reported that Sonos acquired the Paris-Tokyo-based startup. Sonos is getting a European office with over 50 staff as well as voice-specific patents through the deal. The Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said that the company is not planning to compete with Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant, but rather the acquisition was to create something more music-specific.
According to Spence, they will take advantage of Snips' voice recognition and natural language understanding features in building its own voice features. While Spence did not reveal anything on when and how the Snips technology will be incorporated in Sonos products, his remarks suggested that a stress on privacy could be a part of the appeal to customers who are wary of companies such as Amazon and Google with their voice recordings, adding, “We can do it with privacy in mind," he says. In its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended September 30, Sonos generated $294.2 million in revenue, compared to $272.9 million during the same quarter a year ago.