Medallia Acquires Hospitality Software Startup Zingle for $42M

[Updated 2:40 p.m. 9/27. See below.] Zingle, a startup whose software is used by hospitality, travel, and retail industries to more easily and quickly connect with their customers via messaging, has been acquired for about $42 million in cash by Medallia, a publicly traded software company in San Francisco.

The Medallia (NYSE: MDLA) IPO earlier this year was one of a number of successful public market debuts by companies offering cloud-based software, often dubbed software-as-a-service. Businesses use the company’s software tools to help monitor customer satisfaction.

Carlsbad, CA-based Zingle, founded in 2009 by CEO Ford Blakely, allows businesses such as hotels to view and manage many of the messages coming in via text from its customers—say, a guest who texts requesting a late checkout, and another who sends a Facebook message—in the same place. As of 2017, giant hotel chains including Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H) and Wyndham Destinations (NYSE: WYND) were using its products, according to the company.

Zingle also says it uses machine-learning tools to allow companies to automate responses to some common customer queries. The company this year acquired Presto AI, a Philadelphia, PA-based startup, to boost its data science know-how. Its acquisition by Medallia was announced Tuesday.

Zingle previously raised $1 million in equity financing in 2015, $3 million in 2016, and $11 million earlier this year to advance its software, according to regulatory filings and the company. Its backers include Rincon Venture Partners, CrossCut Ventures, and PeakSpan Capital.

[Updated with comment from the acquirer about whether Zingle will retain a local presence.] A Medallia spokesperson said the Zingle team will remain in the San Diego area. According to its website, Zingle has more than 50 employees in six countries.

Sarah de Crescenzo is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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