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Urban Airship to gain Tello's PassTools, look to Passbook


The in-app push messaging company with a fun name, Urban Airship, has acquired a company named Tello that will help Airship to gain a foothold in the creation of passes, loyalty cards, tickets and coupons that work with Apple's iOS 6 Passbook app.

Tello developed a platform called PassTools that makes it simple for small businesses to create their own coupons or loyalty cards after realizing (acccording to Tello co-founder Joe Beninato) "that it was very difficult for people who weren't engineers to build these passes."

The marriage of the two firms should make it possible for Urban Airship to sell Passbook passes to big brands like airlines and chain stores through push messaging services, and then provide local businesses with what they need, which is usually limited to loyalty cards or discount coupons.

Tello's a small company -- it has five full-time employees -- and all of the staff will remain in their existing Palo Alto office.

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