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Mblox merges with Mobilesys

Two-headed SMS monster

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Two SMS service providers from opposite sides of the Atlantic have merged, backed by $8m in new funding

The UK business is call mBlox while the American firm is called Mobilesys. They both do the same thing, using the same technology more or less (jointly developed as separate entities), but on different continents. So it's a consolidation then.

The merged entity is to be called mBlox inc. and it is to be headquartered in London, but we are assured that this is a proper merger, as opposed to a disguised takeover. The new company is to be run by Mobilesys big cheese Chip Hoffman, while mBlox CEO Andrew Budd moves upstairs to take the chairman and president roles.

mBlox employs c.25 people, while Mobilesys has 40. All staff are staying on, a spokesman said.

mBlox inc. will spend the new money raised on expansion. This finance round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, and participants include Novus Ventures, Duff Ackerman Goodrich and Bank of America.

No financial performance details have been released, but mBlox says it has been profitable since early 2002. It points out that the US market for SMS should grow rapidly and the merged company is well-placed to address this.

mBlox looks after SMS services for content providers. It says it is the only independent company in the UK to run its own SMS centre. This means that it is not dependent upon a mobile network operator for setting service levels it says.

The merger press release is here. ®

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