MessageMedia snares Zoho text messaging app Smooth Messenger

MessageMedia snares Zoho text messaging app Smooth Messenger

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Samueljjohn.

Smooth Messenger, a Melbourne-based text messaging app developed four years ago by entrepreneur Jeremy Nagel, has been snapped up by MessageMedia for an undisclosed sum.

The app is one of the most widely used plug-ins on the rapidly expanding customer relationship management (CRM) platform Zoho, which is owned by an Indian corporation of the same name and has more than 75 million users worldwide.

Nagel, a self-taught full-stack developer, cut his teeth in programming by adapting Zoho Creator to find a database solution required for a non-profit organisation where he was volunteering at the time. 

In a short space of time Smooth Messenger has risen to prominence as one of the most feature-rich SMS integrations within the Zoho CRM platform, which allows businesses to seamlessly send two-way messages to their contacts via SMS and MMS. The app is the second most installed SMS extension application on the Zoho platform, with an average rating of 4.8 stars.

Allowing businesses to send and respond to messages in real-time and to have their interactions recorded on their Zoho CRM account, Zoho has become a popular platform for businesses in the construction, financial services and professional services sectors, offering customisable automation settings for users.

Founded in Melbourne by Grant Rule in 2000, MessageMedia was acquired last year by Sweden-based Sinch in a US$1.3 billion ($1.9 billion) deal. The company provides mobile messaging solutions for small and medium-sized businesses - a profile that aligns with Zoho’s platform that allows SMEs to access its entry-level CRM system for free.

Following the acquisition, Smooth Messenger will be rebranded as SMS for Zoho CRM by MessageMedia, while the app’s existing team will be integrated into the acquirer's business.

“With more than 20 years’ experience in serving small and medium businesses as Australia’s largest messaging provider, we have always been focused on expanding our customer messaging solutions,” says MessageMedia CEO Paul Perrett.

“We seek to do this across a broad range of business platforms and technologies, so the acquisition of Smooth Messenger presented a natural fit for our business.

“With Smooth Messenger being amongst the best solutions on the Zoho CRM platform and having grown its user base considerably since inception in 2018, we have no doubt the acquisition will extend our commitment in delivering exceptional customer engagement and strengthen our ecosystem integration.”

Nagel will continue to work at MessageMedia as a product manager after the acquisition settles.

“I am excited about the additional value that we can bring to customers on Zoho CRM through leveraging MessageMedia's technology and global expertise,” he says.

“Apart from offering enhanced product features, we are also able to tap into the MessageMedia's 24/7 support resources, which will allow us to serve our customers' needs anytime, anywhere in the world.”

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