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Augme broadens mobile marketing strategy via $44.5M acquisition of Hipcricket

Augme Technologies Inc. has agreed to buy Hipcricket Inc. for $44.5 million as it looks to grow in the mobile marketing space.

With Gartner forecasting the global spend on mobile marketing will double this year, Augme wants to be able to reach consumer brands, agencies, pharmaceutical firms and media companies with a wide range of marketing solutions that target mobile devices. The combined companies will be backed by patented technology and software-as-a-service platforms.

?The brands that we?re servicing across the board are asking us to do more for them when it comes to delivering advertising and mobile marketing through mobile rich media across both mobile applications and mobile display," said Anthony Iacovone, founder and chief innovation officer of Augme.

"Augme will now become the preeminent one-stop mobile provider for mobile marketing and mobile advertising for brands, agencies, pharma/health and media companies," he said.

Getting bigger
Hipcricket was founded in 2004 and provides services for marketing to consumers via their mobile devices using SMS, 2D/QR codes, MMS, mobile Web sites, advertising networks, social media and branded applications.

?SMS remains the workhorse and a reach vehicle for brands that want to ensure they can reach virtually every mobile subscriber,? said Eric Harber, chief operating officer of Augme.

Hipcricket's clients include Macy?s, MillerCoors, Nestle and KFC.

The company also offers a permission-based ad network that targets customers via location and demographic information using SMS, display, rich media and video technologies.

The Hipcricket acquisition follows Augme?s purchase last month of JagTag, which offers technology that enables marketers to communicate with customers via 2D bar codes. 

The combined companies will look to provide best-of-breed mobile marketing solutions.

?The combined entity is strong in more than two dozen industries across every mobile channel, including SMS, 2D/QR codes, mobile websites, advertising networks, social media and branded apps,? said Ivan Braiker, president of Augme.

Augme expects to hire all of Hipcricket?s employees

?By combining with Augme, we are able to build the preeminent one-stop mobile provider for mobile marketing and mobile advertising for brands, agencies, pharma/health and media companies,? Mr. Braiker said.

?The combined entity provides the full complement of products, services, strategy and experience to enable clients to drive sales, engagement and loyalty,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York