InphoMatch Inc., a Chantilly company that lets customers trade text messages across wireless carriers, said it will merge with Mobileway, a French company that delivers information to cellular devices such as phones and personal assistants. Terms of the deal between the two private companies were not disclosed.
The combined company, to be renamed in September, will have more than 200 employees and will be based in Chantilly. InphoMatch executives say the new company will generate about $100 million in revenue this year.
Five-year-old InphoMatch originally was founded to help big companies send updates to customers' mobile devices, such as an alert that a package is about to be delivered. That market failed to take off, so the start-up switched to helping wireless service providers make their text systems work with each other. For instance, InphoMatch's technology allows a Verizon cell phone user to send text messages to T-Mobile subscribers and collects a fee for each message delivered.
Mobileway manages the exchange of wireless content between media companies and individual users. Football fans can get scores on their cell phones, for instance, or news junkies can get updates.
"The new company will have the ability to deliver content to every mobile user in America and so that, I think, is a really strong value proposition for the new company," said Neville Street, chief executive of InphoMatch, who will also lead the new company. The adoption of text messaging has been much slower in the United States than in Europe or Asia, and Street says the market here is just "starting to mature."
Mobileway's executives will remain with the combined company, Street said, and in addition to the Chantilly headquarters the firm will maintain offices in Paris, Singapore and London. Street said the merger could result in a reduction of "between 10 and 20" jobs.