Hyderabad-based mobile value-added services (VAS) company IMImobile has acquired UK-based digital agency Skinkers Ltd, a developer of apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android-OS based handsets. However, the deal value has not been disclosed.

Skinkers has an office in London and it has developed mobile and desktop applications for companies such as American Airlines, the BBC (for its desktop app iPlayer), Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic, Aviva, Capital One, The Spectator, NDS, Slimming World, NHS, Jaguar and Zurich Insurance. It also develops Web-based apps, as well as mobile games. In March this year, Skinkers acquired Sprawl Technologies Ltd or Umee, which developed apps and sites for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry handsets.

Vishwanath Alluri, founder and chairman of IMImobile said, “With the acquisition of Skinkers, we will add considerable strength to our existing offering. Skinkers brings an understanding of digital application development and user-interface design, as well as the expertise regarding how to use the latest Web and social network technologies.”

Skinkers’ development capabilities will be used to extend IMImobile’s flagship DaVinci Evolved Service Platform. The Cloud-based DaVinci platform currently offers a wide range of mobile Internet services such as enterprise-grade CRM, messaging, social aggregation, contact management, mobile advertising, mobile marketing, storefronts, ring-back tones and digital music services.

Skinkers will allow IMI to offer new solutions for interactive TVs, m-commerce and customer care. “We are looking forward to utilising IMImobile’s existing global network capabilities to extend and complement our offering with mobile services like messaging and mobile payments,” said David Long, CEO of Skinkers.

This is the fifth acquisition by IMImobile in Europe as it continues to bullishly extend its mobile and digital offerings to operators, broadcasters and brands in the continent. In 2008, IMI had acquired Dx3, a digital content delivery services provider. In 2009, the company bought over Music2You, a music download and subscription services platform, from Nokia Siemens Networks and followed it up with the acquisition of social aggregation and phone book management service provider Mobytec. In August 2010, it acquired WIN Plc. – a London based mobile applications firm.

IMImobile’s goal is to create an open and global mobile market for new applications and services. “We see an increased demand for multi-device applications across our business, especially within the broadcasting and enterprise sectors. The use of smartphones and Tablets offers a new medium for communication and the consumption of content. This will not only create additional revenue opportunities for broadcasters and content owners but also allow enterprises to create an enhanced user experience to cut costs and increase loyalty,” said Alluri.

IMImobile has partnered with mobile operators in 59 countries and reaches over 900 million subscribers. It employs 600 people and its clients include Aircel, Airtel, BSNL, Meteor, Millicom, Mobitel, MTN, Reliance, Tata, Telefonica, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone, as well as the BBC, Star TV, Reuters, Yahoo!, Google, EMI Music, Universal Music, Sony and Warner Music, The AA, Centrica and E-ON.

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