I have often written about the proliferation of mobile and smart devices and how there is a paradigm shift in how advertisers and marketers are leveraging the medium in order to facilitate a one-on-one impression with consumers. While statistics indicate over $37B will be spent on mobile advertising by 2016, nobody until now has successfully closed the loop and married an m-commerce solution with mobile advertising and marketing.
With billions of dollars flocking to mobile advertisers the next step is for these advertisers to complete a transaction while they have the consumer's interest.
On Friday, Spindle, Inc. (OTC:SPDL) announced the acquisition of MeNetwork. MeNetwork is another development-stage company on the brink of exploding onto the mobile scene. The company provides apps for both Apple and Android devices that allow consumers to look for mobile deals with local merchants. In the last few months it has expanded to 84 cities in the United States and 20 markets in Europe, and it is just getting rolling. The acquisition of MeNetwork will enable the combination of Spindle's mobile payment platform and MeNetwork's mobile advertising platform to deliver a full function mobile ecosystem bringing mobile payments, advertising, and a new mobile community capability to market in a white-label, brandable solution.
The combination of Spindle and the MeNetwork will also reunite some highly respected industry veterans from First Data Corporation. Bill Clark, President of Spindle, is a 20+ year payments-industry veteran. He served as General Manager of Wireless Products, Director of Emerging Technology, First Data Merchant Services and First Data Resources. During his 17-year tenure at First Data, he pioneered the delivery and sales of emerging technologies over a wide range of markets, including Internet banking, electronic bill presentment, and web-based merchant services.
Craig Page, MeNetwork's COO, is a seasoned professional who brings over 30 years of operations and technology experience to the Spindle team. Craig's background centers around creating and implementing business and technology strategies at Fortune 500 companies such as First Data Corporation, Citibank and Boeing, where he led teams ranging from one to 3,000 employees worldwide and managed budgets ranging from $1MM to $800MM. He was also named "Top Twenty CIOs to Watch" by CIO Magazine in 2006 while at First Data Corporation.
As Spindle and MeNetwork continue to roll out their products, the real question is whether these guys intend to build an empire or take a quick exit via acquisition in the near term. As has often been said, "if you build it they will come," seems very appropriate in this case. More importantly, when you have seasoned industry veterans coming out of First Data and Bank of America payment services -- where Spindle recruited its two key business development executives -- all going to work for a small company, there is generally a reason for it.
It's often these insiders who know where the current technology gaps in the market exist and how to fill them. Build an infrastructure that allows merchants to easily use mobile advertising and quickly execute a safe and secure transaction via a mobile device, and people will flock to your door. That is exactly what Spindle is building via its acquisition of the MeNetwork. Not only should this result in customers to come knocking, but it also should soon draw investor attention as well.