Wavii, the stealthy Seattle startup led by Adrian Aoun, is getting closer to unveiling a new service that’s designed to help people find the news that matters the most to them.
“Today, most people get their news by searching Google or browsing sensationalized headlines that repeat the same story,” writes Wavvi’s Dan Lewis in a blog post today. ”If you’re a bit savvier you use Twitter or a news reader, hoping they’ll point to stuff you care about… but no where can you simply follow your interests, like that politician you love to hate, your company, your sports team, this summer’s movies, etc. Why not? Because today, nobody is creating feeds for all of these topics.”
Obviously, Wavii is setting out to change that, and it just opened a private beta for about 1,000 users. As we’ve noted in the past, Wavii is a bit like Evri, the Paul Allen-backed company that’s also trying to use semantic search technology to create vertical content channels for users. (One of Wavii’s former top engineers, Michele Banko, used to work at Evri and is now working at Microsoft as a senior research software development engineer).
The goal of Wavii is to reduce clutter for news consumers, targeting information directly to one’s very specific interests.
“Even if the same story in the news is written 6 different ways in 18 different articles, we simplify it all into a single, bite-sized news event in your feed…no spin, no repetitive articles all saying the same thing,” Lewis writes today.
Wavii’s planned unveiling comes at a good time, since Twitter just gobbled up Vancouver, B.C.-based Summify and announced that it planned to shut down the popular news aggregator. Summify created a service in which users could receive daily (or multi-time per day) alerts of the most relevant content based on the chatter on one’s social network.
As I noted a couple months ago, Wavii has been operating in stealth mode for longer than most companies. Asked about the long term, Aoun said: “We are focused on tough technical challenges that really effect people’s lives, and a lot of that takes time.”
TechCrunch notes that Wavii is only starting with the vertical news channels of technology and entertainment, but plans to eventually expand into other topics such as sports, music and gaming. It is currently analyzing about one million different news sources, from RSS feeds to Tweets. The company has a who’s who of investors that includes Mitch Kapor, Max Levchin, Ron Conway and Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund. TechCrunch had previously reported that Wavii had received acquisition offers while still building the product.