Voxeo Acquires IMified to Add IM Agents to Voice Services

logo_shineThe jury’s still out as to whether technology M&A activity will pick up in the coming weeks, but here’s one deal that’s just been completed: Interactive voice recognition systems developer Voxeo has acquired instant messaging agent platform developer IMified for an undisclosed amount. The deal allows Orlando, Fla.-based Voxeo to build more sophisticated automated instant messaging response systems into its platform, with which developers and enterprise customers can build their own communications applications for customer service operations and similar functions.

Voxeo is aiming to take advantage of a generational shift in customer service communications, in which enterprises now expect to communicate with customers via methods beyond telephone and e-mail, by incorporating IM into an automated system requiring fewer resources than labor-intensive call centers. IMified’s platform allows developers to create automated bots or agents that operate on a variety of instant messaging systems. According to Voxeo CEO Jonathan Taylor, Voxeo had been tracking Sacramento, Calif.-based IMified’s development for some time before making an acquisition offer this spring. Neither Taylor nor IMified co-founder Adam Kalsey would discuss the deal’s terms, but Taylor said it included a combination of cash, equity and incentives, adding that he sees the revenue impact of the acquisition as “a 12-36 month play.”

Voxeo previously expanded its offerings last year by buying out VoiceObjects, a self-service voice systems company, and Micromethod Technologies, a communications and collaboration software maker that now operates as Voxeo’s Asia-Pacific subsidiary. Taylor said Voxeo is wholly owned by management and employees, and has been profitable for 21 consecutive quarters.

IMified never received external funding, and although Kalsey said it intended to pursue a software-as-a-service model, Taylor characterized the startup as “largely pre-revenue.”