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.