Cisco Buys 'LinkedIn Killer' Accompany

As Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) emphasizes software and services over hardware, the company said Tuesday that it is buying artificial-intelligence relationship tech developer Accompany Inc. for $270 million in cash and assumed equity awards.

Accompany CEO and Founder Amy Chang was previously Head of Product for Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google Ads Measurement and was an independent board member of Cisco before stepping down Tuesday. The company's backers include Charles River Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, ICONIQ Capital and Ignition Partners.

Accompany uses artificial intelligence to gather information ranging from Twitter Inc. (TWTR) feeds and news articles to bios about people. The profiles serve as meeting-prep dossiers for executives or sales people. 

"This is kind of like the LinkedIn killer," said Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research Inc.

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