Text marketing firm moves to Lancaster

The James Street Elevator Works building at 202-206 W. James St. in Lancaster. (photo/submitted)

Last fall, Lancaster-based private equity firm PennSpring Capital bought a majority stake in Mobiniti, a text marketing firm based in Wilkes-Barre.

  • This week, a PennSpring entity paid $1.55 million for a building in Lancaster where it plans to relocate the operations of Mobiniti, which employs about 20 people.
  • The move brings Mobiniti closer to PennSpring, which offers support to the company, and to a more fertile terrain for hiring, said Lou Castelli, managing partner at PennSpring.
  • Mobiniti plans to hire 12 to 18 people over the next year, primarily in sales and tech development, Castelli said.

What’s the building: The James Street Elevator Works at 202-206 W. James St. and an attached property at 216-1/2 W. James.

  • Dating back to the late 19th century, the renovated, two-story building spans about 12,000 square feet.
  • Tenants include the nonprofit Horizon InitiativeMulà Architects and real estate firm NAI Commercial Partners, according to Castelli.
  • The building had been owned by Lancaster-based RJR James Street LLC, a partnership whose managing member is Robert M. Krasne, according to county deed records.
  • Deepa Balepur of Compass Real Estate LLC represented both parties in the transaction.
  • PennSpring was represented legally by Jackson Law Firm, based in Mechanicsburg.

What’s next: Mobiniti plans to move by Oct. 1. and take up the space currently occupied by Mulà, which is on both floors, Castelli said.

  • The new building also will provide space for another PennSpring portfolio company, EHC Associates, a Lancaster-based environmental services company. It is taking the Horizon space.
  • PennSpring also plans to move some of its own staff into the NAI space on the first floor once it opens up, Castelli said.

The background: Founded in 2014, Mobiniti manages marketing campaigns based on text messaging, an increasingly popular channel for advertising.

  • People are rarely without their phones, and text messages are more likely to be opened than emails.
  • One survey, by text marketing firm SimpleTexting, found that 70% of consumers had agreed to get texts from businesses.
  • The survey also found that 60% of businesses plan to increase their budgets for text marketing, also known as SMS marketing.

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