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Mobile-ad marriage: SmartReply snaps up MSnap

Acquisition of mobile-advertising company MSnap is set to increase SmartReply's package of advertising tools. Terms of the deal are undisclosed.

E-marketing firm SmartReply has acquired mobile-advertising specialist MSnap in an effort to increase its presence on wireless devices.

SmartReply, which distributes advertisements via voice messages, e-mail, and text messages, is seeking to create the largest U.S. mobile-messaging ad network through the acquisition, according to a post on MSnap's Web site.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and MSnap and SmartReply were not immediately available for comment, but according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, MSnap's shareholders will receive a minority stake in SmartReply.

MSnap, founded in 2006, has received investments from Partech International and First Round Capital.

The Journal, citing figures from investment bank Partech, noted that approximately 80 mobile-marketing companies have collectively raised more than $1.2 billion in venture funding since January 2006. During the same period, the Journal noted that 20 companies in the sector have been acquired for a total of roughly $900 million.

The advertising sector has seen a large pullback in the weakened economy, and industry analysts have pointed to small companies and nontraditional media companies as being the likely targets of mergers and acquisitions.