US-based Firm Kirusa Acquires India-based Messaging App Developer Cooltok

Whatsapp, Google,  Facebook, Social MediaNew Jersey, US-based social media and voice messaging solutions firm Kirusa announced on Monday, May 12, its intention to acquire Bangalore, India-based start-up Cooltok. The entrepreneurial firm Cooltok develops solutions for smartphone-based mobile messaging apps. While the latter confirmed the news of acquisition in recent blog post, both firms failed to disclose the acquisition amount.

Terms of the deal that were made public include Kirusa’s ownership of all the intellectual and technological properties previously owned by Cooltok. Also, the six-member team of Cooltok is set to join the Bangalore office of the US-based firm.

Cooltok’s WhatsApp-like product attracts the attention of Kirusa

Cooltok was founded in 2012 as Plusray Innovations by Sreenivas Karanam, Thomas Mathew and Prakash Kaja. Karanam went on to become the CEO of the firm. The firm’s flagship product was its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) product that was launched on Google Play (NASDAQ: GOOG) early in 2014. The VoIP app, intended for smartphone owners, allows users to make free calls, send text messages, share files, pictures and manage voice chats as well as group chats.

The WhatsApp-like app works on any mobile network and packs in an additional feature – the ability to make calls, like Viber. The only difference being Cooltok’s Android-only range, as of now.

It is noteworthy that both WhatsApp and Viber got acquired this year and for big bucks. Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) paid $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp while Rakuten shelled out $900 million to acquire Viber.

Prospects post acquisition

Based out of NJ, Kirusa develops social media and voice solutions for businesses as well as emerging markets. The firm has a Cooltok-like Voice over Internet Protocol product of its own – the InstVoice that allows users to send text messages, voice messages and voice-mails for free. 

The company is associated with 35 mobile carries across the globe and aims to deliver the “third wave” of applications for messaging – applications that give the user the combined benefits of their mobile carrier services and smarter, Over-The-Top (OTT) services like group chat, locations, pictures and videos.

According to the CEO of Kirusa, Inderpal Singh Mumick, the experience and knowledge of the Cooltok team, as well as the technology developed by it would be invaluable in helping Kirusa develop as well as deliver the seamlessly blended OTT and mobile-carrier services through its VoIP products.

At the same time, Cooltok CEO Kanaram is hopeful of his team’s prospects post the acquisition too. The IP-based solutions developed by his team for smartphone apps when combined with the diverse partner and product portfolio of Kirusa, will open up a host of several opportunities for both team, Kanaram said in his blog.

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