Consolidation continues in the mobile space with two deals having implications for small and medium-sized businesses, among others.
First, Payvia, a carrier-based mobile billing startup, bought Mogreet, a mobile marketing company that keyed its business on delivering MMS or multi-media messaging, then expanded its offers to provide a more extensive SMS or text messaging solution.
Payvia’s purchase of Mogreet is intended to increase revenues for businesses through targeted mobile payment transactions and relevant ongoing engagement via branded communications, offers and mobile relationship management. The company says it has paid out to merchants and developers worldwide more than $2 billion in global mobile commerce revenues.
A second and unrelated deal got much more attention and praise with MediaPost saying a merger between Seamless and GrubHub forms a “takeout powerhouse”.
Seamless offers ordering for delivery and takeout to more than 12,000 restaurants in the U.S. and in the UK and owns the MenuPages service for providing up-to-date menu content. GrubHub covers 20,000 restaurants and 250,000 restaurant menus through its Allmenus digital brand.
This will create a network of takeout and delivery ordering by Web and mobile for over 500 cities in the U.S.
Some SMBs adequately compete in this space, you say? This deal will produce more innovation, advancing such services as Track Your Grub. Participating restaurants will send the buyer text messages that give status reports on their order, when it is being processed, and when it is out the door to be delivered or ready to be picked up. Some restaurants are even offering mapping capabilities to track the driver on their way to your door.
Says MediaPost’s Steve Smith, who is one of the smartest when it comes to mobile’s effect on the bottom line: “Mobile takeout and delivery services will become normalized because in large measure they simply expand the functionality of an activity we already do -- ordering by phone. This simply puts the entire menu in front of us anywhere and any place and spares us having to talk over the din of the restaurant’s background noise while we ask all of our family members what they really wanted to order. This also gives us better access to available deals, just as it gives merchants greater opportunity to push special offers and personalize the experience even further. And this fundamental move of voice phone ordering to data channel phone ordering opens up enormous possibilities for local mobile marketing and advertising.
When it comes to talking about mobile commerce and mobile payments, it’s these incremental mobile extensions of activities to which we are already accustomed that will lead the way. We'll be waiting for years for those point-of-sale systems at some of the major retailers to be able to take a mobile payment. Some of the mom-and-pop local restaurants may already be ready.”
My take on these deals? I agree with Steve that the nimbleness that characterizes many SMBs gives those entities an advantage over the larger retailers who historically have changed out POS systems about once a decade. Plus, in the latter case, there are many stakeholders in the decision, often including IT, senior management, marketing and operations.
SMBs have no such organizational structure nor do they have the hurdles that come with it.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program http://Goo.gl/t3fgW, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.