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12 May, 2017 - 11:15 By Tony Quested

Cambridge tech startup bought by US search company

Lucidworks Stefan

Cambridge software startup Twigkit has been bought by San Francisco search business Lucidworks to further bolster US ownership of the UK technology cluster’s IP innovators. No figures for the deal have been disclosed.

Anchored locally in CB1 and with offices in London and California, Twigkit was founded in 2009 by London School of Economics graduate Stefan Olafsson (pictured above) and Dr Bjarki Holm (below), a Cambridge Computer Laboratory graduate. It specialises in user experiences for enterprise-grade search and big data applications and has delivered search applications for a whole raft of world leaders in diverse sectors.

Twigkit currently has seven people in Cambridge, three in London and three in Los Angeles to where it recently moved its US base. Dr Holm told Business Weekly: “The Cambridge base is being retained and we expect the Cambridge headcount to grow in the coming months. We just moved from Station Road to our own building on Tenison Road in CB1.”

Lucidworks says the acquisition is in line with its mission to deliver purpose-built user-driven data applications that give end users a single access point to aggregated search results.

The acquirer provides search tools to help access data from multiple sources. Twigkit takes mined data and delivers it in user-driven applications with a 360-degree view of an organisation at any time, on any device.

While Lucidworks has solved the first mile of making all data accessible to all users, Twigkit goes the final mile for the industry – bridging the gap from data access to application, according to Will Hayes CEO of Lucidworks.
Twigkit has built a global customer base that includes HSBC, General Electric, Amgen, Northrop Grumman, Toyota, the FDA, Qualcomm, the NHS, Monsanto, Rolls-Royce and Vodafone.

Olafsson and Holm will continue to drive the enterprise search space with Olafsson joining as Lucidworks' new chief strategy officer and Holm as VP of solutions.

Before Twigkit, Olafsson held the position of principal engineer at FAST (now a Microsoft subsidiary) where he helped some of the world's largest companies and government agencies tackle complex problems using search.

Lucidworks Bjarki
Prior to Twigkit, Bjarki Holm held a research appointment in mathematics and computer science at the University of Cambridge as well as a postdoctoral fellowship at Clare College, Cambridge. He has published many papers on algorithms and mathematical logic and was lead author of Oracle 9i Java – a textbook on enterprise software development.

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