This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

A Wall Street Journal source puts the pricetag for the voice recognition company, which is set to announce its sale to Microsoft, at $800m. The amount sounds very impressive, until one remembers that Tellme raised more money during the last cycle than almost any other internet startup, $238m in 1999 and 2000 from Kleiner Perkins and other investors. If the terms of those rounds were standard, that means at least $300m of the proceeds, and possibly much more, will go to investors before other shareholders are cut in on the transaction. By the way, the Journal credits CNET for breaking the story; much as we hate to give Mike Arrington credit, his Techcrunch site deserved the nod for airing the rumor, a full two weeks ago. The Techcrunch publisher should have stuck by his story.