Mobile payments company Payvia Inc. has acquired Mogreet, a Venice mobile marketing start-up.
The companies declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal. The Mogreet team will join Los Angeles company Payvia, and Mogreet founder and Chief Executive James Citron will become Payvia's chief marketing officer. The combined company will have about 150 employees, most of them in L.A.
Payvia offers direct carrier-billed mobile payments, meaning customers who use Payvia to buy an item from their mobile devices see the charge directly on their phone bills, eliminating the need to type in a credit card number for a purchase.
Although Payvia currently allows customers to purchase only digital goods and online services, it would like to expand its transaction capabilities to physical products such as retail items and sports event tickets, said Darcy Wedd, chief executive of Payvia.
"We're looking at it and going, 'OK, we can position ourselves in the entire e-commerce market,' '' he said.
Mogreet is used by thousands of retailers, small businesses and marketers including Cox Media Group and Gamefly. The company, founded in 2006, uses text, picture and video messaging to reach mobile consumers.
Payvia said the deal would create a simplified all-in-one platform that enables companies to target consumers and provide them with a way to buy goods directly from their mobile devices.
"Our clients have told us they also need a simpler way to link targeted mobile transactions to their marketing campaigns," Wedd said. "By integrating Mogreet's solutions on our platform, we answer that need."
He noted that as more consumers move to smartphones or tablets, or increase the amount of time they spend on them, businesses are looking for ways to drive more revenue from mobile devices. The company is also hoping to decrease the high rate of shopping cart abandonment — roughly 97% — that occurs on mobile devices.