Nuix buys Boston NLP software maker Topos Labs

Topos’s artificial intelligence-driven NLP platform is designed to reduce the workload on data reviewers and analysts by surfacing relevant or risky content faster.
Rod Vawdrey (Nuix)

Rod Vawdrey (Nuix)

Local software vendor Nuix hopes to further enhance the unstructured data processing power of its Nuix Engine offering after acquiring all the shares of Boston-based natural language processing (NLP) software maker Topos Labs.

Topos’s artificial intelligence- (AI) driven NLP platform is designed to reduce the workload on data reviewers and analysts by surfacing relevant or risky content faster. Its stated mission is to provide users with risk-oriented content intelligence for pro-active risk management and regulatory compliance.

The publicly listed Nuix told shareholders that Topos’s early-stage platform was already able to automate accurate analysis and classification of complex content in documents, electronic communications and social media.

Nuix said that, by welcoming the Topos team and integrating its NLP capability at this stage of its development, the company could optimise the technology to benefit its investigations, e-discovery and GRC (governance, risk and compliance) customers.

“The acquisition of Topos is an exciting evolution in Nuix's journey,” said Nuix chief scientist David Sitsky. “Integrating the Nuix engine's ability to process vast quantities of unstructured data with the next generation NLP capabilities of Topos will be game-changing for Nuix's product portfolio.”

Upon the financial close of the deal, which is expected in September 2021 and remains subject to customary closing conditions, the Topos team, including members of Topos senior management, will join Nuix.  

“Topos will strengthen Nuix’s product offering by helping customers get to relevant data even faster,” said Nuix CEO Rod Vawdrey. “The potential for user-friendly dashboards and for users to easily customise the software to their specific needs also reflects Nuix’s focus on empowering our customers to search through unstructured data at speed and scale.  

“We look forward to Christopher Stephenson [Topos CEO] and his talented team joining Nuix.” 

The initial cost of the acquisition is US$5 million on financial close of the deal, with the potential for a further US$20 million, comprised of US$18.5 million cash payable to the seller of the shares in Topos and up to US$1.5 million in performance rights.

In August, Nuix revealed its profit for FY2021 fell by 107 per cent, causing it to end the financial year with a $1.6 million loss.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed software vendor made $23 million in profit last year, but this has now sunk despite steady revenue of $176.1 million for the year ended 30 June 2021.

Meanwhile, the company's pre-tax earnings (EBITDA) plummeted by half, falling from $62 million to $30.2 million. This comes despite having contracted 100 new customers in the last financial year, Nuix told shareholders.

The results came just months after Nuix was subjected to a search on its Sydney office, with authorities seeking documents in relation to an investigation into the affairs of an unnamed "individual”.    

The warrant, executed on 24 June, came just days after the chief executive and chief financial officers of the software company resigned amid allegations concerning its $1.8 billion public listing.