Motorola Buys Aloqa to Improve Location, Proprietary Services

Motorola is in a tough spot. The company has seen its fortunes reverse somewhat with aggressive adoption of the Android platform. The next order challenge is differentiating its handsets from other OEMs building off the same platform: HTC, Samsung.

Motorola is trying a number of things to do that. One of those is the awkwardly named "MOTOBLUR" interface/software. Another effort -- using Skyhook Wireless to deliver better location than Google's native location technology -- was allegedly thwarted by Google. (Skyhook is now suing Google.) That's literally another story, however. 

Now Motorola has acquired Munich-based LBS startup Aloqa. According to the press release Aloqa will be integrated into MOTOBLUR:

Aloqa's technologies and services utilize the user's context (location, identity and social relationships) to proactively inform them of places, events, bargains and other opportunities of which they may choose to take advantage.  For example, if Aloqa's software recognizes the user is in a certain region, it will offer him the top events of the day or special offers of leading discounters in the vicinity.  Aloqa distributes its product as a mobile application for smartphone platforms, including Android, and more than one million users have already downloaded its software.  

Aloqa will further enhance Motorola's MOTOBLUR(TM), which delivers customized content to mobile device homescreens and allows users to access Facebook™, MySpace and Twitter updates -- along with emails, news and favorite apps and widgets -- all in one place.  MOTOBLUR(TM) will integrate Aloqa's open, location-triggered mobile push platform to connect users and publishers of location-aware content in real-time. 

Aloqa has a million users, according to CEO Sanjeev Agrawal. The company also works with "more than 100 publishers in six countries." Agrawal told me in email that the app will continue to be available to Android and iPhone users independent of Motorola's integration.

The purchase terms were not disclosed. The company only announced $1.5 million in funding. We first wrote about the company a year ago: Aloqa: App Store within an App Store Goes Live. 

Geodelic is another company similarly positioned to Aloqa, also providing a platform for location-based content, ads and services. In the wake of this deal they now become a target for acquisition by a carrier or OEM seeking to offer something differentiated and unique to consumers.