Nielsen completes acquisition of Shadyside software firm
February 25, 2017 12:00 AM
Screen grab of Rhiza Inc. homepage
By Stephanie Ritenbaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Another big name is claiming a stake in Pittsburgh’s tech sector.
Global data firm Nielsen Holdings is acquiring Rhiza Inc., a Shadyside-based company that provides media and consumer analytics software.
Nielsen did not reveal financial terms of the deal, but the New York-based company, well-known for providing television ratings, confirmed Friday that a deal had been struck.
“Nielsen has completed its acquisition of Rhiza,” the company said in a statement. “The solution makes it easier for media researchers, sales and marketing managers to better understand an advertiser’s campaign objectives by capturing a complete picture of the consumer, uncovering growth opportunities and visualizing the competitive landscape.
“We are excited to welcome Rhiza, a company of 20 associates, into the Nielsen family,” the company stated.
Rhiza spun out of Maya Design in 2008. Its services have been used by companies that include BBC Worldwide, Comcast, Univision and Cox Media.
One of its latest launches was in August, when the company unveiled Rhizabot, which it called the first intelligent virtual assistant for business users. The company describes the product as a conversational interface, like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, that enables users to ask business-related questions. Rhizabot uses consumer behavior data from Nielsen, as well as data from other firms.
Pittsburgh has been making headlines as companies such as Amazon, Google and Uber set up shop here, bolstering the city’s reputation as a burgeoning tech hub. Most recently, Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based artificial intelligence start-up, announced a deal with Ford Motor Co. to develop autonomous vehicles.
“Clearly there have been very large tech companies who have made investments in the area,” said Mike Stubler, managing director of Downtown-based Draper Triangle Ventures, a Rhiza investor. “It’s a good indicator of the vibrant technology community here.”
Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, noted Pittsburgh’s diversity in its industry.
“You see the variety and depth of the type of work happening here and the skill sets required for it,” Ms. Russo said. “It’s the kind of assortment that will ensure Pittsburgh is on a steady incline.”
Stephanie Ritenbaugh: email@example.com or 412-263-4910.
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