Group text developer Tatango eats up restaurant SMS service HungryThumb

Tatango, the Seattle-based group SMS service, today announced the acquisition of restaurant text messaging marketer HungryThumb.

Tatango allows people or businesses to send unlimited group texts from both their computer and mobile phone for a fee dependent on the amount of phone numbers. Scottsdale-based HungryThumb specializes in text message marketing for restaurants.

Tatango CEO Derek Johnson said that he has been watching HungryThumb for awhile now because of its focus on the restaurant industry. Johnson and HungryThumb CEO Joel Cheesman quickly found out that they shared the same goals.

“We realized we had the same vision for our platforms, just different customers using each platform,” Johnson said. “I looked at their customer base, and some of the assets they had like the short code 486479 — which spells “HUNGRY” — and both Joel and I realized it was better to combine forces going forward, than remain separate.”

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The small HungryThumb team will be moving on to other projects, while Cheesman will join Tatango as an advisor with his experience marketing and selling to restaurants.

“This will be a big asset for Tatango as we continue to penetrate the restaurant market,” Johnson said.

Johnson founded Tatango five years ago in his college dorm room and was originally a way for fraternities to communicate via text messaging. It has grown tremendously and has big-name customers in various industries. Active monthly subscriptions are up 300 percent over last year and Tatango recently launched its enterprise program.

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