SMS Provider mBlox Buys Zoove, CardBoardFish

July 16, 2014

Text messaging provider mBlox has announced a pair of acquisitions aimed at bolstering its positioning in the mobile messaging space.

The company purchased Zoove, the company behind the StarStar dialing service, and CardBoardFish, which offers an automated application-to-person (A2P) messaging service that mBlox said would enhance its own A2P platform. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

For mBlox customers, mBlox said the CardBoardFish technology would allow faster onboarding, improved message routing, and more extensive monitoring with a suite of online support tools. Conversely, CardBoardFish customers would benefit from mBlox’s larger network of operator clients and greater buying power.

The Zoove acquisition is meant to give mBlox a bigger role in helping brands deliver customer support and grant access to premium content via mobile phones. Zoove historically has mainly worked with brands and mobile carriers to reserve StarStar dialing codes that mobile users can use for special deals and offers.

Under the transactions, CardBoardFish technical founder Allister Collins will join mBlox and serve as chief architect of the messaging platform, while operations founder Ben Fitter will serve as a consultant to mBlox for the foreseeable future. Zoove CEO Joe Gillespie joins mBlox’s advisory board, and company founder Tim Jemison remains as a consultant to mBlox.

The acquisitions come shortly after mBlox secured $43.5 million in new funding from investors, including Comerica, Horizon Technology Finance and Norwest Venture Partners. In announcing the financing, company CEO Tom Cotney said mBlox would be “aggressive in making strategic investments.” So far, he’s lived up to his word.

mBlox on Tuesday also said it was expanding its capabilities to include multimedia messaging services (MMS) for U.S. customers. That move will allow marketers to use the same short code for both SMS and MMS messages. Separately, mBlox unveiled a new logo and branding that would highlight its messaging products as the “building blocks of mobile.”