Summer of Consolidation? Augme Acquires Hipcricket


ADOTAS – Is it all right if I label this season the “Summer of Consolidation”? This week alone I’ve witnessed Google buy innovative deal aggregator Dealmap, multichannel marketer ValueClick swallow retargeter Dotomimobile HTML5/rich media specialist Sprout get soaked up by mobile ad network InMobi and comScore lay down $22 million for ad verifier AdXpose. I’m running out of cute merger graphics and witty acquisition headlines.

The latest bit of consolidation takes place in the mobile arena as mobile marketing platform Augme bought mobile marketer Hipcricket for $44 million ($6 million in cash, $38.5 million in Augme common stock). The two companies’ client roster will exceed 300, including 10 of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, six of the largest media companies in the world and four of the world’s biggest advertising agencies.

This is the second acquisition in as many months (actually, weeks) for Augme as the company bought mobile barcode specialist and contextual MMS advertiser JAGTAG in late July, giving JAGTAG CEO Ed Jordan the CFO responsibilities at Augme. Prior to that move, Augme released version 4.0 of its mobile marketing software platform AD LIFE.

Founded in 2004, Hipcricket is a relative veteran in the field of mobile marketing, having recently powered its 100,000th brand campaign. Earlier this year the company released version 7.0 of its cloud-based mobile marketing and advertising platform HIP, with new features such as integration with Facebook Pages and the SmartXchange conversational SMS tool.

All of Hipcricket’s staff is expected to Hipcricket CEO Ivan Braiker will become president and a member of Augme’s board of directors while President and COO Eric Harber — who has written some deep thought pieces for Adotas — will take on COO duties at Augme.

“We expect the complementary resources of Augme, JAGTAG and Hipcricket, when combined, will allow Augme to provide the most powerful best-of-breed mobile marketing solutions to global brand name leaders, backed by strong intellectual property portfolios, including patented technology and software-as-a-service technology platforms,” commented Augme CEO Paul Arena.

For more on Hipcricket, check out CMO Jeff Hasen’s thoughts regarding social customer relationship management in the smartphone era.

By the way, my proposed theme song for the Summer of Consolidation is “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman. “Come Together” by the Beatles would also be appropriate.




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