Hoover's debuts business networking tool, acquires Visible Path

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Austin, Texas—Business information provider Hoover’s on Wednesday announced the official introduction of Hoover’s Connect, a business networking tool that helps users get introduced to and establish relationships with targeted prospects. The debut of Hoover’s Connect coincides with Hoover’s agreement to acquire Visible Path, the company that had been powering Hoover’s Connect beta for the past year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hoover’s Connect works as follows: When the user goes to a particular Hoover’s company record and clicks the Connect button, various referral paths appear that highlight the “strongest” path within that user’s network.

The service allows users to build their networks actively, by inviting colleagues to join, and passively, through an Outlook plug-in that applies social networking algorithms to automatically rate relationship strength.

—Matthew Schwartz

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