US-based Quixey acqui-hiring personal assistant app startup Dexetra for under $3M

California-based Quixey Inc.,, a company that offers a mobile app search engine service under the same brand name, is acqui-hiring Dexetra Software Solutions Pvt Ltd, a startup that has developed SIRI-like voice-based personal assistance app for Android, in a deal worth under $3 million, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told VCCircle.

The deal for the acquisition of the Bangalore-based firm is expected to be closed in a couple of weeks.

“The deal is in the final stages and a formal announcement is likely to come in 7-15 days,” the source said. “Dexetra had another term sheet from Bangalore-based Verse Innovation, parent of news aggregation platform Newshunt. But it decided to take up the Quixey offer,” the person added.

We tried contacting Dexetra for more details, but the company didn’t respond to repeated phone calls. When contacted, a spokesperson for One97 Mobility Fund, an early investor at Dexetra, declined to comment.

Earlier, NextBigWhat had reported that Quixey has already acquired Dexetra. There were also rumours that Newshunt was in talks to acquire the startup.

Dexetra was co-founded in April 2010 by six friends. Four of them – Narayan Babu, Nithin John, Binil Antony and Aibin Varghese – were classmates at KMEA Engineering College at Kochi. The other two co-founders Yaser Hameed and Eby Chembola worked with Babu at Robert Bosch GmbH in Bangalore.

The company’s main offerings include IRIS, a voice-controlled personal assistant for the Android platform similar to Apple’s SIRI (IRIS is basically SIRI spelled backwards), and Friday, an app that works like a personal secretary/assistant. It keeps track of the users’ activities on the smartphone and saves the data on the cloud. It also understands the context of the commands given to it by the user (by leveraging IRIS) and acts accordingly.

Dexetra also offers ’, a context-aware dialler that uses machine-learning to predict one’s calling patterns.

The firm had raised under $2 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and Qualcomm Ventures in February 2011. Previously, it had raised $200,000 from One97 Mobility Fund, a fund jointly run by One97 Communications and SAIF Partners.

Quixey was founded in 2011 by Tomer Kagan and Liron Shapira. Quixey is search engine for apps—searching mobile, desktop, web and browser apps. Quixey has developed a new type of search, called Functional Search that allows users to find apps by searching for what they want to do. Quixey has partnered with various app stores, search engines, manufacturers, mobile carriers and web platforms to power app search globally.

In October last year, Quixey had raised $50 million from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, with participations from GGV Capital and TransLink Capital, among others.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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