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IBM invests in Watson-powered shopping, travel apps


Armonk, N.Y. – IBM Inc. is making new investments in Sellpoints and WayBlazer to advance online shopping and travel apps powered by Watson. The investments are part of IBM's $100 million commitment to drive new innovations and business solutions that build on Watson.

Sellpoints, a provider of e-commerce and customer engagement solutions, has introduced Natural Selection, a new app powered by IBM Watson that helps users to better understand individual shopper preferences and intent. The app allows consumers to ask questions in natural language, quickly returning a set of relevant and personalized offers in two taps or clicks.

To this end, Sellpoints is developing a new shopping experience with Nicole Miller which will allow consumers to leverage Watson to discover collections that are suitable for their needs. IBM's investment is part of a $7.5 million Series C funding round for Sellpoints.

In addition, WayBlazer's Discovery Engine uses Watson technology to absorb massive amounts of data, while linking places, offers, and preferences, with social, cultural and economic data for recommendations tailored to each consumer. The company is led by Terry Jones who founded Travelocity and was founding chairman of Kayak. The IBM investment is part of a $5 million Series A funding round for WayBlazer.

IBM continues to advance and invest in Watson as a core technology and open cloud development platform. The financial terms of IBM's investments were not disclosed.

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