Mobile firm Augme Technologies acquires Hipcricket

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Mobile marketing company Augme Technologies has agreed to acquire mobile marketing firm Hipcricket, the company said on August 4. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the month.

The acquisition bolsters Augme's mobile marketing offerings and expands its enterprise capabilities, said Anthony Iacovone, founder and chief innovation officer of Augme.

“Mobile is interwoven into the fabric of the enterprise system,” Iacovone said. “The marketing and full agency expertise of Hipcricket is equally important for its ability to fully service these companies.”

Hipcricket specializes in developing mobile campaigns that integrate SMS, quick response codes, mobile websites and mobile apps. Its ad network enables clients to target mobile campaigns based on consumers' location and demographic information. The acquisition also brings Hipcricket's more than 200 clients under Augme's umbrella. Key Hipcricket clients include Macy's, MillerCoors, NBC and Clear Channel Communications.

Hipcricket founder and CEO Ivan Braiker will serve as president of Augme and join its board of directors; Hipcricket president and COO Eric Harber will join as Augme's COO, replacing Phillip Rapp who has been named EVP of strategic planning at Augme. Braiker and Harber will directly report to Augme CEO Paul Arena.

All Hipcricket employees will be retained, Arena said. He indicated the company is “working through” planning the structural integration of the two companies. Augme will combine Hipcricket's New York and Dallas offices with Augme's New York headquarters and Dallas office, Arena said, but Hipcricket will maintain its Seattle headquarters.

The acquisition is Augme's second in less than a month. Its $5.3 million acquisition of mobile technology company Jagtag closed on July 22. Iacovone said that the Jagtag acquisition was “more of tactical acquisition” whereas Hipcricket provides the company a “broader, robust SMS platform.”

Asked if Augme has additional deals planned for 2011, Arena said that there was “nothing to discuss at this time. We're being cautious and selective of what opportunities are out there and are looking at various options.”
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