Convera Corporation

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Convera Corp.
Type Public (NASDAQCNVR)
Founded 2001
Headquarters Vienna, VA, File:Flag of the United States.svg United States
Key people Patrick C. Condo, President and CEO
Ronald J. Whittier , Chairman of Board
Matthew G. Jones, CFO
Industry Internet, Computer software
Revenue 1.3 million USD (2009)[1]
Net income 23 million USD (2009)[1]
Employees 32[1]

Convera was formed in December 2000 by the merger of Intel's Interactive Services division and Excalibur Technologies Corporation. Until 2007, Convera's primary focus was the enterprise search market through its flagship product, RetrievalWare, which is widely used within the secure government sector in the US, UK, Canada and a number of other countries. Convera sold its enterprise search business to FAST Search & Transfer in August 2007 for $23 million, at which point RetrievalWare was officially retired.[2] Microsoft Corporation continues to maintain RetrievalWare for its existing customer base.



Excalibur Technologies had a history of search technology development dating back to the early 1980’s. Originally founded by Jim Dowe in 1980, Excalibur sought to exploit neural networks through Adaptive Pattern Recognition Processing (APRP). One of the applications of APRP was text retrieval, and it was found that the technology could provide a pattern matching search that was able to tolerate spelling variations and optical character recognition (OCR) processing errors over large volumes of scanned/OCR material. In 1995, Excalibur Technologies acquired ConQuest Technologies, a Maryland based company, which was an early pioneer of semantically enhanced search. This technology was adopted by parts of the US Government in the early 1990’s and was perhaps best known, in the public domain, for providing the Excalibur rapid rebuttal database that was successfully used by the UK Labour Party in their 1997 election campaign.


Convera Corporation[3] is now providing software as a service (SaaS) vertical search services to publishers and other media companies. Publishers are using Convera's Web search platform to create customized search experiences for specialist audiences (e.g., SearchMedica,[4] a property of United Business Media's CMPMedica division). Convera's vertical search services are used by many of the leading publishing companies, including John Wiley & Co., Centaur Media, Incisive Media, Lebhar-Friedman and Advanstar. Vertical search applications are usually presented under the publisher's brand and typically combine a mixture of public web data (selected by the publisher as being the best public content available on the subject), the publisher's proprietary content and private content provided by third parties.


A controlling interest in Convera is held by Allen & Company, a New York based investment bank. Allen & Company has been associated with Convera since its foundation in 2000 and was also a major shareholder in Excalibur Technologies for many years.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "10-K". Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  2. "FAST Acquires Convera’s RetrievalWare Business". Information Today, Inc.. 2007-04-09. "While FAST will continue to support the RetrievalWare platform, it will not continue development on it or add new features. RetrievalWare customers will be offered an upgrade path to FAST’s own offering." 

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