Autonomy looks to launch its video-search technology in India

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The Independent Online

Autonomy is looking to expand into the Indian video-search market after achieving rapid success with its OpenV joint venture in China.

Mike Lynch, the software company's chief executive, said he sees an opportunity to expand the company's video-searching technology into other regions if it can find the right partners. He said India presents an opportunity for Autonomy as search giants such as Google are not dominant in the region because of the complexity of local languages.

Cambridge-based Autonomy's software powers OpenV. It has become one of the world's largest online video-search engines after it was launched last year with partner blinkx. OpenV is the largest Chinese-language video search engine, receiving 5 million page hits a day.

Internet companies are under pressure to aggregate video content as a result of the upsurge in consumer usage of video sites such as the YouTube website, which was recently bought by Google.

OpenV has been strengthened by the inclusion of the largest broadcaster in China, CCTV. CCTV is the state broadcaster, equivalent to the BBC in the UK, and has taken a stake in the joint venture.

Mr Lynch said the company expects to derive revenue from OpenV during the fourth quarter after launching advertising on the site. He expects that revenue will build gradually next year.

Autonomy is looking to capitalise on increased demand for its search technology that is typically used for counter-terrorism purposes and corporate applications. During the third quarter the company signed 13 new deals with equipment manufacturers, as well as a slew of deals in the corporate market.

Mr Lynch said he sees no signs that the rate of contract wins is set to slow and attributed the success to its $500m (£266m) acquisition of its main rival Verity last year. "We are growing six or seven times faster than the overall industry," he said. Revenue in the third quarter more than doubled to $60.2m, while profit before tax more than tripled to $15.9m.

The company had cash of $107m at the end of the third quarter and has raised the prospect of a share buyback given it has no immediate plans for further acquisitions. With its average selling price increasing to $360,000 and its cash position strengthening on the back of contract wins, Mr Lynch said the company might consider a share buyback in the next fiscal year.

As a sign of the progress it has made over the past six months, investment bank Credit Suisse upped its price target to 500p from 380p. Shares slipped more than 4 per cent to 492p as some investors took profits following a 25 per cent gain in the stock over the past month.

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