PayPal’s looking to make it easier for smaller merchants to enter the world of mobile shopping.
In its first acquisition since separating from eBay in July, PayPal said today it bought Modest, a mobile commerce platform. The Chicago-based company, founded in 2012, helps merchants create an app or add a mobile store into an existing app. It also lets users add “buy” buttons into e-mails, in addition to other content such as blog posts or ads.
This type of shopping in which the option to buy is embedded into other content, allows merchants to dip into what is referred to as “contextual commerce” — think Pinterest’s Buyable Pins.
Bill Ready, PayPal’s senior vice president and global head of merchant and next-generation commerce, said in a post that the deal is part of the company’s efforts to make commerce experiences, from payments to order management, better for both merchants and shoppers. “They have built exceptional mobile technology and bring deep talent in contextual commerce to PayPal,” he said of Modest.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Modest was founded by Harper Reed, who was chief technology officer for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and Dylan Richard, who was the lead engineer for the campaign. The team of 20 will stay in Chicago and work in the Braintree office. Braintree, acquired by eBay’s PayPal in 2013, powers and automates online payments for online merchants.
PayPal was separated from eBay after 13 years in July. As reported in a recent WWD story, PayPal chief executive officer Dan Schulman referred to the combined $25 trillion worth of commerce from buying online and shopping in stores. “As we move into an era when mobile experiences will erase the distinction between the two, it is this much larger market that we see as PayPal’s true opportunity,” Schulman said.