Mobile marketing firm Hipcricket sells to Augme for $44.5 million

The M&A market continues to heat up, and today saw another Seattle area technology company taken out. Hipcricket, which helps clients such as Nestle Water and KISS FM Cleveland conduct mobile marketing campaigns, including contests and other advertisements and promotions, has agreed to be sold to New York-based Augme for $44.5 million.

The company and its 50 employees will stay in the Seattle area and operate under the Hipcricket name. Hipcricket founder and CEO Ivan Braiker will serve as president of Augme and will join the board of directors.  Eric Harber, president and chief operating officer of Hipcricket, will serve as COO of the combined company.

The deal — comprised of $6 million in cash and $38.5 million in Augme common stock — also includes the potential of a sizable earn-out. If certain milestones are met, Hipcricket could get an additional $27.5 million in cash or stock.

Founded in 2004, Hipcricket previously raised $26 million in venture capital from Benchmark and European investors.

The combined company will have more than 300 clients, including Kellogg’s, Pfizer, Bayer, NBC Universal and Sony. (Editor’s note: The number of customers has been updated).

“Hipcricket shares a vision with Augme of providing brands, agencies and partners with the most powerful selection of mobile marketing products, services, strategies and experience to enable them to drive sales, encourage interactive customer engagement and build brand loyalty,” Braiker said. “The companies’ offerings are complementary, and we are excited about the additional depth and scale we can now bring to our existing and new clients.”

The pace of acquisitions has increased in recent weeks. Just yesterday, comScore announced its plans to buy Seattle-based AdXpose for $22 million. And earlier today, Kirkland-based Market Leader announced the acquisition of Denver-based SharperAgent.

Earlier this week, Bellevue game studio Sucker Punch Productions sold to Sony, Mercer Island-based Liberty Dialysis sold to Germany’s Fresenius Medical Care for $1.7 billion and Redmond-based photo sharing service Smilebox sold to IncrediMail Ltd. for up to $40 million.

  • andrew dawn

    all those companies are sold at loss or little return