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Velti pays $19M for Air2Web to further mobile marketing efforts

Velti has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Air2Web and further cement its position in the mobile space.

Velti will pay consideration of approximately $19 million in cash for Air2Web. Air2Web?s customers include AT&T, Comcast, American Express, HSBC, Barclays Bank and Citigroup.

?Velti is always seeking partners that can enhance its mobile marketing platform with compelling technology and rich consumer data sets that allow our brand customers to gain better consumer insights,? Roy Satterthwaite, senior vice president of global marketing at Velti, San Francisco.

?Our brand customers can then leverage this data for greater mobile marketing campaign success,? he said. ?As a bonus, we are also interested in access to marquee customers and greater depth in industry vertical markets.?

Velti is a global provider of mobile marketing and advertising technology and solutions that enable brands, advertising agencies, mobile operators and media to implement highly targeted, interactive and measurable campaigns by communicating with and engaging consumers via their mobile devices.

Mobile shift
Through the definitive agreement, Velti will pay $19 million in cash for Air2Web and expects to keep in excess of $12 million of annualized revenue from the acquisition ? the majority of which is derived from recurring platform licensing, usage and performance fees.

Additionally, Velti anticipates Air2Web will generate approximately $3 million in revenue.

Velti expects the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of 2011 and accordingly will consolidate a portion of Air2Web's quarterly results.

?With mobile playing an increasingly central role in consumers? lives, 24-hours-a-day, the need to manage relationships with consumers via the mobile channel has become business critical for global brands,? Mr. Sastterthwaite said.

?This is fundamentally different from enterprise software approaches to managing consumer relationships online or via email,? he said. ?Mobile CRM provides the ability to have real-time dialogue with a consumer wherever and whenever they may choose to interact with a brand.

?Over time these consumer lifecycle interactions can be analyzed and leveraged for better mobile marketing campaign effectiveness.?  

In addition to the announced acquisition, Velti also signed a definitive agreement to consummate the previously announced acquisition of the remaining interest in Casee.

Velti will pay up front consideration of approximately $8.4 million for the remaining interest in Casee, such consideration to be comprised of approximately $3.9 million in cash and, at Velti's discretion at close, $4.5 million in cash or common shares of Velti plc. 

?Air2Web brings Velti the industry's leading mobile CRM solution,? Mr. Sastterthwaite said. ?We are particularly excited about their expertise in financial services. 

?Going forward all of our customers will have the opportunity to leverage Velti's mobile marketing platform,? he said. ?And with richer consumer insights, gained through mobile CRM, all our customers will be able leverage this data to improve their overall mobile marketing campaign results.?

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York