Mobile Marketing Firm Augme Buys Jagtag

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Mobile marketing firm Augme Technologies, New York, has acquired 2D barcode developer Jagtag, Princeton, New Jersey. for US$5.25 million.

In addition to gaining Jagtag’s proprietary QR codes, the deal will expand Augme’s client list to 150 brands, including Unilever, NBC Universal, Sony and IBM.

In 2010, Jagtag made its 2D barcode system available across the five major U.S. wireless operators. Almost anyone with a camera phone can use it to access content embedded with one of the company’s tags via text message, email or Twitter.

Jagtag’s solution has powered QR-based campaigns for such companies as: NBC, Dell, Toyota and Yahoo!. Augme expects the Jagtag acquisition to bolster its broader mobile marketing offerings. Augme’s own Ad Life platform allows marketers and agencies to plan, create and run marketing programs across various devices using 2D and UPC codes, SMS and image recognition. It also provides mobile couponing, custom application development, and data tracking and analytics.

With the merger, Ed Jordan, Jagtag CEO, becomes Augme’s CFO. Paul Arena remains Augme’s CEO.

Helping to boost use of 2D codes is growing adoption of smartphones, with U.S. penetration at about 33%, according to comScore. Jagtag has said its QR code system doesn’t require a user to download a reader application to their phone, making access available beyond smartphone owners.

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