Clickatell Buys with Eyes on U.S.

Mobile messaging specialist Clickatell acquires MultiMode for an undisclosed amount of money and will move its base of operations to the U.S. in an effort to expand its business.

Clickatell, whose technology is used by wireless carriers and business customers to deploy mobile messaging services to end users, is making an aggressive push into the U.S. market starting with its buyout of MultiMode.

The company, which is currently based in South Africa and offers bulk SMS (Short Message Service) and gateway connectivity services in a claimed 170 countries, said the acquisition was aimed squarely at upping its presence in the United States and that it would move its headquarters to MultiModes offices in San Mateo, Calif.

Terms of the deal were not made publicly available because both firms are privately held.

For its part, MultiMode offers wireless technology that allows for outbound, two-way and on-demand messaging to large numbers of people.

Clickatell executives said that the companys ability to help support voice and e-mail communications, as well as SMS platforms, was key to making the buyout offer.

"This should really help us grow in the United States as MultiMode supports a range of messaging systems and U.S. customers are looking for an all-encompassing solution to this question," said Pieter de Villiers, chief executive of Clickatell.

"We want to become the U.S. leading provider of device agnostic wireless messaging systems and this helps us take an important step toward trying to reach that goal."

While many carriers and device manufacturers prefer for customers to buy into their own mobile messaging platforms, de Villiers said that companies, especially large enterprises, are increasingly looking for systems that can be set up easily and work with many different types of wireless services and devices.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about SMS security.

Instead of asking employees to turn in their old phones to launch more sophisticated mobile services, the executive maintains that Clickatell customers can work with existing devices right away.

Next Page: New applications.