IMImobile acquires UK-based mobile messaging platform TextLocal for up to $16.6M

London-based IMImobile Ltd, a provider of mobile engagement software to mobile operators which has a development centre in India and was started by founders of Indian origin, has acquired mobile communications company TxtLocal Ltd (TextLocal) for up to £13.15 million ($16.6 million or Rs 102.1 crore) in a cash-and-equity deal.

The deal comprises £10 million in cash (Rs 77.7 crore) and £1 million (Rs 7.7 crore) by way of IMImobile’s shares, with a deferred consideration of up to £2.15 million (Rs 16.7 crore).

Post acquisition, TextLocal’s mobile messaging platform will be integrated with IMImobile’s core infrastructure. According to IMImobile, TextLocal’s platform is complementary to its existing offerings and will provide significant cross-sell and lead generation opportunities. The company will also leverage its global footprint to introduce TextLocal’s offering into new international markets.

Furthermore, TextLocal and its customer base will benefit from IMImobile’s capabilities of delivering multi-channel customer engagement and mobile payments solutions that work in synergy with TextLocal’s features such as mobile vouchers and ticketing.

Jay Patel, CEO of IMImobile, said, “The acquisition will allow us to target the small and medium businesses (SMBs) segment that we don’t currently serve and expand our cloud-based mobile messaging offering. We look forward to working with the entire team and we will be integrating TextLocal into the Group over the next six months.”

“We are very excited to become a part of IMImobile. We will continue with the development of innovative features and look forward to working with IMImobile on our mission to revolutionise how SMBs can communicate with their customers to drive engagement levels,” added Alastair Shortland, founder and CEO of TextLocal.

Based in Chester and Malvern in the UK, the company’s clientele includes companies like Debenhams, Paddy Power, P&O Ferries, Greenpeace and Groupon, among others.

According to IMImobile, TextLocal has a strong track record of profit and cash generation with revenue and profit after tax of £7 million (Rs 54.3 crore) and £1 million (Rs 7.7 crore) respectively, for the year ended November 30, 2013. The company further claims that the acquisition is expected to enhance IMImobile Group earnings with effect from the second half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

IMImobile was founded by Viswanatha Reddy Alluri (executive chairman) and Shyamprasad Subramanya Bhat (CTO). The company’s solutions, based on its own intellectual property, enable clients to engage and transact with their customers efficiently through smarter mobile engagement using mobile as a channel to create new revenue streams, as a CRM and customer engagement channel and to improve business efficiency.

The company’s clients include mobile operators and blue-chip enterprises worldwide such as Vodafone, O2, Telefonica, Aircel, Airtel, BSNL, AT&T, Mobitel, MTN and France Telecom, Centrica, Coca-Cola, Universal Music, Tata, AA and BBC. It supports clients in over 60 countries and has 650 employees worldwide. Back in 2011, IMImobile had acquired UK-based Skinkers Ltd, a developer of apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android-OS based handsets for an undisclosed amount.

In June this year, the company listed on London Stock Exchange’s junior market AIM. It was the second such AIM float of an India-related new age tech firm in the recent past. Early this year, the parent entity of lifestyle e-commerce venture Koovs listed on AIM, becoming the first non-travel e-commerce venture in the country to go public.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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