Waterfall capitalizes on Archer’s bankruptcy

Contact: Scott Denne Sheryl Kingstone

Waterfall sifts through Archer’s bankruptcy to pick up some mobile marketing and messaging assets. The acquirer will pay $2.9m upfront (plus as much as $1m more if certain closing requirements are met) for Archer’s marketing services division, which is essentially the iLoop Mobile business that Lenco Mobile (Archer’s parent company) bought in 2011 for $42m.

The trailing revenue of the assets Waterfall is getting isn’t clear, as it is leaving behind a side business in healthcare-focused mobile messaging. What is clear is that iLoop hasn’t fared well under Lenco’s ownership. The unit posted about $5.5m in trailing revenue, less than the $9m we estimate it had at the time of its sale.

This transaction is small but indicative of a coming trend toward consolidation in mobile marketing and messaging. The space is intensely fragmented between mobile advertising networks, mobile website and content creators, mobile payment firms, aggregators, mobile publishing and application development providers, and mobile analytic vendors.

Like Archer, several other companies could quickly find themselves in financial distress. In fact, one of Archer’s competitors, Velti, filed for bankruptcy a year ago. Others could land lucrative exits as marketing dollars continue to shift toward mobile and businesses like Adobe, Oracle and salesforce.com that invested heavily in email marketing look to expand their mobile messaging offerings.

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