PayPal Buys StackMob in Latest ‘Talent Buy’ (Dec. 19, 2013)
PayPal’s acquisition this week of StackMob, which provides a mobile payments development platform, is the latest in a series of deals bringing in top talent and new technology to enhance payment options PayPal offers to its diverse array of customers, from small operators to large enterprises. In a Dec. 17 blog post, James Barrese, PayPal’s chief technology officer, said PayPal absorbed the company for its skills and expertise in helping developers and companies easily create and manage mobile applications. “We believe that with the addition of the talented team from StackMob, we’ll move even faster in creating, testing and deploying products that aim to transform payments for customers around the world,” Barrese said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Payments industry observers noted the addition of StackMob is a good complement to PayPal’s plan announced earlier this year to purchase Braintree for $800 million, a powerful e-commerce processor that brought along its own stable of mobile-based startup clients, such as Uber, which is making waves worldwide with its fast-growing fare-payment app that now accepts PayPal.
Swallowing companies for their brains is a fast-growing trend, analysts say. Square last week bought P2P app developer Evenly primarily to harness that company’s engineering prowess. “The ‘talent buy’ is now a normal and accepted way to hire in Silicon Valley,” Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst with Aite Group, tells Paybefore. “This trend will most likely continue, as there are lots of startups going in and out of business and everyone is competing for talent . . . particularly if it’s synergistic with the needs of the acquiring company.”