Facebook acquires mobile loyalty reward startup Tagtile

Facebook has acquired mobile loyalty reward startup Tagtile for an undisclosed sum. After Instagram, Facebook has returned to its usual types of acquisitions: it's mainly about the talent.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Facebook has acquired Tagtile, a San Francisco-based startup that provides loyalty rewards and mobile marketing. The two-person team will be moving to Facebook, though they won't be continuing their work on Tagtile. Additional details of the acquisition were not disclosed, but this appears to be a mainly talent acquisition; although Facebook is taking over "substantially all" of the startup's assets, Tagtile won't be taking any more customers.

The idea behind Tagtile is simple: connect mobile customers to physical stores. You walk into a store, tap your phone against the Tagtile Cube (pictured on the right, businesses place it at their checkout counter), and you get discounts or rewards. Customers have to first download the Tagtile app (available for Android and iOS), which pushes targeted marketing material to their smartphone based on stores they visit. The Cube meanwhile provides data to help businesses pinpoint marketing efforts that work.

While Tagtile says it will keep its business running, it will not be accepting any new customers, and its offerings will likely cease to exist eventually. It remains to be seen how much of Tagtile's technology will be integrated into Facebook, if any at all.

Here's the full announcement from Tagtile co-founders Abheek Anand and Soham Mazumdar:

We started Tagtile with a simple goal ? to help local business owners build better relationships with their best customers. We've been thrilled to see the enthusiastic response from both businesses and their customers, and even more pleased to watch those stronger relationships we envisioned start to develop.

Today, we are happy to announce that we are joining Facebook, and that they are acquiring substantially all of our assets. It's a huge opportunity for us to take our goal - helping businesses grow - and do it on a much, much bigger scale than we could have on our own.

We won't be taking on any new customers as of today, but the service will continue to work as is for now. We'll be reaching out to customers directly once future plans are set, but Tagtile as it exists today won't be part of what we do at Facebook.

We want to thank every business owner who used Tagtile and every user who downloaded the app. We're excited by what lies ahead for us with Facebook, and are sure you will like what you see next.

I have contacted Facebook for more details and will update you if I hear back.

Update at 10:45 PM PST - "We're happy to confirm that TagTile's founders are joining Facebook, and that Facebook is acquiring substantially all of the company's assets," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We've admired the engineering team’s efforts for some time now and we're excited to have them join Facebook."

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