SoundBite Communications, Inc., a leading global provider of cloud-based customer communications solutions, today announced the acquisition of 2ergo Americas, which had been wholly owned by 2ergo Group plc (AIM: RGO). 2ergo Group is an international mobile business and marketing solutions company leveraging a unique blend of innovative technology and professional services.
The 2ergo Americas acquisition extends SoundBite’s client base to include leading companies in the telecom, media and consumer packaged goods industries while enhancing SoundBite’s existing mobile marketing offering with self-service SMS, mobile coupons, QR code and mobile web platforms, as well as carrier-grade scalability and Latin American connectivity. The acquired business operates principally in North America and brings SoundBite a talented, committed team with deep mobile marketing expertise.
In connection with the acquisition, SoundBite formed a strategic relationship with 2ergo Group under which SoundBite will be an Authorized Reseller of podifiTM in the Americas. podifi is 2ergo Group’s contactless redemption and in-store location service that includes innovative mobile couponing, loyalty, payment and in-store check-in solutions. As part of the new strategic relationship, 2ergo Group has the ability to resell SoundBite EngageSM, an integrated multi-channel communications platform that includes automated voice messaging, hosted dialing, SMS, email and web functionality, and SoundBite InsightSM, a preference management solution enabling organizations to gather and manage consumers’ stated preferences, observed behavior and other demographic data to enable optimal customer communication strategies.
“We are excited to add the clients, technology and employees of 2ergo Americas to the SoundBite family,” said Jim Milton, President and CEO of SoundBite Communications. “This acquisition, combined with the 2ergo Group strategic relationship, will help establish SoundBite as a top player in mobile marketing. We are committed to our mission of enabling clients to harness the power and ubiquity of the mobile device to establish lifelong profitable customer relationships, and we will continue to invest in achieving this goal.”
ABI Research estimates that the U.S. market for mobile marketing and advertising in 2011 was $1.6 billion and is growing at a 23 percent compound annual growth rate. In addition, according to 2ergo Group, mobile devices are now used by 76% of the world’s population and are looked at an average of 150 times per day. Mobile devices are unique in that they can always be on, can be location aware, can be personally targetable and increasingly can interact at points of sale.
“Today’s announcement with SoundBite accelerates 2ergo Group’s mobile leadership strategy in three ways,” said Neale Graham, Founder and CEO, 2ergo Group. “First, the proceeds from the sale of 2ergo Americas will help accelerate our podifi development efforts. Second, while we increase our focus on podifi, we are delighted that, in SoundBite, we found a home for our Americas’ clients and a staff that shares our values and passion for client success. And finally, the strategic relationship allows both parties to leverage each others’ best-in-class technology.”
Terms of the Transaction and Financial Information
Cash consideration paid at closing was $3.8 million, of which approximately $800,000 was placed in escrow. The deal includes traditional terms such as representation, warranties and indemnification by the seller. 2ergo Americas has a current annualized revenue run rate of approximately $3.5 million.
The 2ergo Americas operations will be part of SoundBite’s Mobile Services business, which SoundBite established following its acquisition of SmartReply in June 2011. As a result of the acquisition, 17 2ergo Americas employees will be joining the Mobile Services team.
First Quarter Guidance
For the first quarter of 2012, based on modest revenue expectations from the 2ergo Americas deal through the end of the quarter, SoundBite is reiterating its most recent guidance provided last week.
Conference Call and Webcast Information for Financial Analysts & Investors
SoundBite will host a conference call today at 8:30 am. ET to discuss the acquisition. A live and archived webcast of the event will be available at ir.soundbite.com/events.cfm. A live dial-in is available in the U.S. at +1 888 350-0137 and outside the U.S. at +1 970 315-0478. A replay of the call will be available two hours after the live call until 11:59 pm. ET on March 15, 2012 and can be accessed by dialing +1 855 859-2056 for callers in the U.S. and +1 404 537-3406 for callers outside the U.S. and entering passcode: 57017473.
About 2ergo Group
2ergo (2ergo.com) is an international mobile business and marketing solutions company. It combines innovative proprietary mobile technologies and professional services to help organizations of all sizes develop and execute their mobile strategies. Organizations such as Fox News, Fox Sports, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, U.S. Cellular, Orange, Aviva, Fidelity, Transport for London, Ladbrokes, Times of India, Airtel, O2, Talk Mobile and Procter & Gamble have all benefited from 2ergo's end-to-end mobile solutions to increase sales, mobilize business processes, reduce costs and enhance customer relationships. 2ergo has been a pioneer of enabling innovative mobile business solutions across multiple sectors and geographies since 1999. Its international presence spans North America, Latin America, United Kingdom, India and Australia. 2ergo is AIM listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIM: RGO).
About SoundBite Communications
SoundBite Communications (SoundBite.com) is a leading global provider of cloud-based customer communications that enables organizations to communicate throughout the customer lifecycle to build lifelong, profitable relationships. SoundBite focuses on two markets, the Hosted Contact Center and Mobile Marketing. On behalf of SoundBite’s than 400 clients, including approximately 25 Global 500 and 50 Fortune 500 companies, SoundBite powers almost 2 billion customer interactions annually.
The statements set forth under “First Quarter Guidance” above constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon SoundBite’s current plans, estimates and expectations. The inclusion of these forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by SoundBite, its management or any other person that the future plans, estimates or expectations contemplated by SoundBite will be achieved. These forward-looking statements represent SoundBite’s expectations as of the date of this press release. Subsequent events may cause these expectations to change, and SoundBite disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements in the future. Matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including: slower than anticipated development of the market for automated voice messaging services; defects in SoundBite’s platform; disruptions in its service or errors in its execution; discontinued or decreased use of SoundBite’s service by its clients, which are not subject to minimum purchase requirements for any reason, including market conditions and regulatory developments; and the occurrence of events adversely affecting the collection agencies industry or in-house collection departments, which account for a significant portion of SoundBite’s revenues. These and other factors, including the factors set forth under the caption “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of Part II in SoundBite's most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause SoundBite's performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.