Shopkick acquired by Korean telecom SKP

Mobile loyalty platform shopkick has been acquired by SK planet, an affiliate of SK Holdings and SK Telecom, Korea's largest mobile carrier.

The wireless carrier plans to incorporate the platform into its own. SK currently operates mobile platforms and shopper rewards programs with 38 million subscribers in a country of approximately 50 million people. It processes roughly $50 billion in transactions per year.

Shopkick's beacon networks are being deployed by retailers including Macy's (NYSE:M), which recently announced an expansion of that program to its entire store base.

"The acquisition of shopkick will create the key platform of SK planet's U.S. mobile commerce business, and also expand our global market position," said Jinwoo So, CEO of SKP, in a statement.  "Shopkick's dominant leadership position in mobile shopping in the U.S. combined with our depth of business assets will allow us to build the best shopping products across the globe. Together, we will expand well beyond mobile, connecting online and offline shopping experiences in unprecedented ways."

The merger will bolster SKP's leadership position in the global commerce markets and grow the newly combined business at what SKP called "a massive scale." Shopkick will continue under the leadership and of the current management team, but will add the resources and business assets of SKP to further accelerate its rapid growth among shoppers, retailers and brands.

"Our vision is to build the most beautiful and useful digital user interface on top of the physical shopping world," said Cyriac Roeding, CEO and co-founder of shopkick. "When I first heard Jinwoo speak of SK planet's vision, it sounded like we were from the same company–that's how closely our strategies are aligned. We were at a point where we needed an infusion of resources and reach to keep up with the incredible demand and growth across partner retailers, brands and users. What we got goes well beyond that; we can now drive SK planet's international leadership forward in the U.S., and SK planet will help us achieve our global visions."

Beacons are among the hottest technologies in retail today as retailers strive to reach shoppers with messaging at the most critical moment in the shopper's journey: at the shelf. As location-based technology becomes more prevalent, shopping applications and loyalty programs are expected to grow, as well.

For more:
-See this press release

Related stories:
Macy's deploys beacons, expands mobile initiatives
50% of mobile shoppers open to beamed messages
iBeacons are hot at SXSW
Tarrytown Pharmacy goes live with beacons
Shopkick extends reach with shopBeacon

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