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March 12, 2007
Hossein Eslambolchi, the former CTO of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has formed a new Silicon Valley startup called Divvio Inc. that will build content personalization software. (See Divvio to Offer Guide.)
The new venture is a sort of digital media search engine that will locate content for users based on their own personal preferences. Eslambolchi described this format to Light Reading as a "peer-to-source" technology that simply makes it easy for users to sort through all the digital content on the Internet much more quickly than they could have before.
"This is about the user mining the Internet for content," says Eslambolchi. "It's knowledge mining. It is something that's been embraced."
The new peer-to-source service is different from peer-to-peer services in that it's entirely Web-based and requires no client software or browser plug-ins. Also, by only pointing to URLs and not hosting content itself, Divvio hopes to steer clear of hotly contested copyright issues.
The real techology behind the company will be a "personalization engine" that learns the users' tastes, according to Eslambolchi. Divvio says it has a unique, patent-pending technology it calls the Adaptive Learning Intelligent Platform (ALIP). "ALIP will enable Divvio to build dynamic content channels of premium, popular, and hard-to-find content, customized for its users, based on preferences and streaming habits," according to the company's press release. The software will take this personalized content and allow the users to aggregate it into "channel" formats for viewing or listening online or on mobile devices.
When the company is launched it will start out as a free service with a target-advertising-driven business model similar to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s adwords. That could change, though, in the future. "I think we’re going to take it to the mobile environment and might think about a subscription model," said Eslambolchi.
Divvio has landed an undisclosed amount of seed money from some big names, including Allegis Capital ; Palm Inc. chairman and 3Com founder Eric Benhamou; Presidio STX (the investment arm of Sumitomo Corp. ); Farzad Naimi, CEO of Litescape; Geoff Ralston, former chief product officer at Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO); Sachio Semmoto, chairman of eAccess Ltd. of Japan; and others.
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading
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