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Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo and Echo Dot speakers. (Amazon Photo)

Amazon reportedly acquired Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Graphiq back in May, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times, citing “four sources familiar with the deal but unauthorized to discuss it,” says the acquisition was worth at least tens of millions of dollars and up to $50 million.

Graphiq is a smart search engine that takes billions of pieces of data and translates them into graphs and other visualizations.

According to the L.A. Times., Amazon was attracted to Graphiq because of its potential to improve Alexa, the voice-controlled digital assistant that powers the Echo and other devices. It’s easy to see how Graphiq’s powerful search technology could help Alexa get smarter about handling voice queries.

An Amazon spokesperson said “as a matter of company policy, we don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” when asked about the rumored acquisition. Graphiq declined to comment.

Graphiq started out as FindTheBest, a search comparison tool to help people decide between products and other items online. In 2015, it rebranded to Graphiq to reflect the company’s broader range of search and data visualization tools. It has become a popular tool for news outlets to create visual representations of data.

The company was created by Kevin O’Connor, who previously founded DoubleClick, which eventually sold to Google for $3.1 billion.

Amazon currently has 11 open job positions in Santa Barbara, where Graphiq is located. The Seattle-based tech titan is looking for data associates and software engineers for Alexa in the region.

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