Mobile marketing agency Sponge bought by WiForia
Wednesday July 2, 2014 at 4:29pm
WiForia, a leader in location marketing, has acquired long-established mobile marketing agency, Sponge for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will see the founders of Sponge, Dan Parker and Alex Meisl, take over at the helm of WiForia as majority shareholders. The whole Sponge team has transferred across as well. The deal recognises the significant progress Sponge has made in developing its shopper marketing platform, which allows marketers to recognise and engage with their customers on a one-to-one basis at the point of purchase. It is understood that a major retailer will soon launch a service utilising the Sponge platform to send shoppers offers tailored to their purchasing history. The new WiForia will increasingly focus on providing location marketing services using Wi-Fi and beacons to enable retailers and a range of other leisure-based industries with similar footfall to recognise visitors, match them up with information on their database and delivered targeted offers. Following the Sponge acquisition, WiForia claims to be the only company currently able to match the technical aspects of such location marketing campaigns with the consumer insights to create effective campaigns. Other location marketing services providers currently only use Wi-Fi to track footfall or to deliver generic advertising based on location. Dan Parker, WiForia’s chief executive officer, says: “Nearly half of UK retailers already offer free public Wi-Fi, and they are increasingly under pressure to add value to their offerings in order to deliver true omni-channel experiences. The WiForia platform has been developed over the last two years and is being championed by over 75% of Wi-Fi hardware manufacturers who recognise that, when combined with free public Wi-Fi, it can deliver rich and relevant in-store engagement, resulting in more sales, enhanced loyalty and a demonstrable Return On Investment.” Alex Meisl, WiForia’s chairman, adds: “WiForia enables us to embark on a new path focusing on delivering a compelling SaaS (Software as a Service) solution on a tried and tested platform targeting a market which is worth over $35bn. Our solution is unique, compelling and adds value. In the near future, we will be announcing the first of many international retail clients and resellers in this space and have some significant expansion plans under way. We will not be forgetting our mobile heritage and will continue to service our long–term clients in the mobile space as well.” Meisl (pictured) is a board member of the Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) and a former UK chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association. Among the clients Sponge has worked for are Evans, Barclays, Coca-Cola and Mcdonald's.