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Miami-based Simplikate acquired by Austin’s Phunware

Simplikate, a Miami company that provides a mobile commerce platform and applications for malls, airports and luxury real estate, has been acquired by Austin-based Phunware.

The Simplikate team and offices will remain in Miami to both support customers and partners and act as a gateway for new business opportunities throughout Central, South and Latin America, the companies said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phunware is an integrated multiscreen services platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their users worldwide. The company, which launched in 2009 and had more than $22 million in revenues last year, recently ranked No. 36 on the Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies and No. 40 on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. It now has 170 employees and 32 contractors.  Phunware's South  Florida customers include Telemundo, Univision, Discovery International, UHealth, allCanes and Sunbeam.

 As part of the acquisition, Phunware will add a large international customer base across more than 150  malls and 15 airports and 400,000-plus multiple dwelling units (MDUs) specific to luxury communities, buildings and properties, said Alan S. Knitowski, co-Founder, chairman and CEO of Phunware.  Phunware also plans to expand South Florida operations to support growth in new business in South Florida and Latin America, the company said. 

Founded in 2002, Simplikate has 18 employees in offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and has 10 contractors in Mexico City. Its global venues and properties include malls such as Tyson’s Corner, Westfield San Francisco and West Edmonton Mall, airports such as Dallas-Ft.Worth International Airport, Miami International Airport and Calgary International Airport and MDUs such as Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, ICON South Beach and NEMA San Francisco. Additionally, its customers include Verizon, Macerich, Mandarin Oriental Residences Worldwide and HBO Latin America.

 “Our substantial footprint in the venue space is the ideal theater for Phunware’s vision to engage, manage and monetize every person touching every screen on every device touching every network everywhere globally,”  said Tushar Patel, co-founder and CEO of Simplikate.

To be sure, the market is huge for brands as there will be 50 billion connected devices expected to compose the "Internet of Things" by 2020, Phunware said.  Forrester estimates that the Mobile Services Market will soar to $32.4 billion globally by 2018 and that mobile engagement providers will need strong end-to-end competencies in order to act as providers of record. In parallel, eMarketer estimates that Mobile Ad Spending will balloon to $72.3 billion by 2017, up nearly 10 times over 2012 spending levels.

Posted June 3, 2014