Ebay Inc., the e-commerce and online bidding powerhouse, is plunking down about $800 million in cash to acquire Braintree, a payment platform beloved among online and mobile-first startups.
Under the deal, Braintree will run as a separate service within PayPal, with its current employees continuing to work there. Its CEO, Bill Ready, will report to David Marcus, the president of PayPal. Ebay acquired PayPal in 2002.
Braintree, which powers startups like Airbnb, OpenTable, TaskRabbit, LivingSocial, and Uber, serves merchants in North America, Europe, and Australia, accepting payments in more than 130 currencies.
As a developer-focused startup, it’s home to Venmo, a mobile app giving users a way to pay each other with their mobile devices with one click. PayPal hopes to leverage Venmo’s peer-to-peer technology for its own mobile payments system.
This year, PayPal projected a mobile payment volume of more than $20 billion. Braintree acquired Venmo in August 2012.
In a blog post on the PayPal Web site, Marcus said the acquisition would benefit both Ebay and Braintree as it would allow the two companies to deliver mobile payment solutions “at the scale that’s required.”
He added Braintree was a good example of a company that had built a real, mobile-first experience, instead of “traditional e-commerce ported to [a] mobile device.”
“As a separate service offered by PayPal, Braintree will be able to scale its platform at a rate that is just not possible for a startup. PayPal’s already solved many of the regulatory and logistical hurdles that will help to extend Braintree’s reach to more customers in more markets even faster,” Marcus wrote.
“Our resources will enable them to push the boundaries of innovation with ambition and confidence for consumers, merchants and developers around the world. It’s business as usual for Braintree. Braintree will continue to maintain its best-in-class service for its customers and developers for the foreseeable future.”
The acquisition is expected to close at the end of the year.