Ask Jeeves sells off software unit for $4.25M

Ask Jeeves Inc. (Nasdaq: ASKJ) of Emeryville inked a deal May 28 to sell its search software unit, Jeeves Solutions, to privately held Kanisa Inc. of Cupertino.

Under terms of the deal, Kanisa will pay Ask Jeeves $3.5 million in cash and a promissory note worth $750,000.

Ask Jeeves says this move will allow it to spend more money on marketing and to focus on its core business, enterprise search, which made up 86 percent of the $25.2 million in sales it reported in the quarter ended March 31.

Kanisa says it will fold Jeeves Solutions operations, including some if its staff, into its existing customer service software offerings.

“The JeevesOne product is extremely strong and we look forward to working with the Jeeves Solutions team to serve the customer service needs of existing and new customers,” Kanisa CEO Bruce Armstrong said in a statement.

Both companies expect the acquisition to close by the end of July.