Amazon quietly acquired a start-up to make Alexa smarter

Key Points
  • Amazon has reportedly acquired a company named Graphiq.
  • Graphiq provides visualizations on complex data and may be used to help improve Amazon Alexa.
David Ryder | Getty Images

Amazon quietly acquired a company named Graphiq in May to help make Amazon's voice assistant Alexa smarter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Graphiq, according to its still-live website, lets users search on a topic — say, President Donald Trump — and get complex sets of data on that subject, presented in easily digestible charts. The Times said Amazon was particularly interested in the company's ability to gather data about "products, places and people."

One can easily see how this might be compelling for Amazon, which makes its business on knowing what people want, and how to get it to them as cheaply as possible.

The Echo, which is powered by Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, allows users to search for information on nearly anything, in addition to ordering goods through Amazon.

One source estimated the acquisition to be worth about $50 million, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

CNBC reached out to Amazon for comment on the deal but a spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Read the full report from the Los Angeles Times.

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