Velti Buys Mobile Interactive Group for $25 Million

In a bid to become one of the largest mobile marketing companies based on revenue, San Francisco-based Velti has acquired UK-based Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) for $25 million. The deal gives Velti a greater international reach and capabilities in mobile commerce and mobile billing. MIG has $100 million ($20 million net revenues) in annual billings, with 160 employees and operations in 44 countries.

In fiscal 2010, Velti declared $116.3 million in revenues. MIG has technologies in the social interaction space and powers the Skype mobile Web site as well as the New Look mobile commerce site. It was named the fastest-growing privately owned technology company in the UK and EMEA by Deloitte in 2010. In addition to Skype, MIG claims as customers Vodafone, PepsiCo, BBC, Sony, BarclayCard and O2.

Velti has agreed to pay a minimum of $25 million, $20 million of cash and up to $34 million by 2013 based on performance.

Velti offers a technology platform for mobile marketing campaigns that target, deploy and measure mobile advertising across networks and apps. It acquired mobile CRM provider Air2Web in October and has a definitive agreement to acquire Chinese mobile ad exchange and network CASEE. The company has offices in San Francisco, Athens, London and New York, among other places. Velti reported revenue of $38.2. million in Q3 2011, up 85% from the year-ago period. Its revenue guidance for 2011 was recently raised to $180 -- $185 million.

Velti says its growth is being driven by expanded relationships with core blue-chip clients like Disney, Ford, GM, HP and Johnson & Johnson.

The deal further underscores the consolidation occurring in the mobile marketing space. MIG itself had been rolling up smaller companies and technology providers, including tech agency Digital Jigsaw and mobile payments firm Zaypay, both in September. Augme acquired Hipcricket in August and JagTag in July as full-service mobile marketing companies start arming up with a range of technologies and agency specialties.

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