PayPal acquires StackMob, Indicates growing focus towards Developer Community

Back in September, PayPal released a futuristic facial recognition mobile app for payments and then there was the high profile acquisition of Braintree (which included Venmo). They also partnered with Orderbird for a new payments service in Germany. In December, PayPal collaborated with AIRTAG to deliver an improvised KFC fast track experience.

I think it is safe to say that the payments giant has been quite busy in this sector over the past year. Well, it does not look like they are slowing down. On 17th December 2013, PayPal announced that they had acquired mobile backend service provider StackMob, with the terms of the deal expected to be revealed soon.

StackMob, a San Francisco based startup, was co-founded by Ty Amell (CEO) and Will Palmeri in January 2010. The company had received a total funding of $7.5 Mn through investors Trinity Ventures, Harrison Metal Capital and Baseline Ventures. The company counts nearly 15,000 customers and supports over 40,000 applications. It’s clients include Adobe Systems, Red Hat,Urban Outfitters & Verizon. According to PayPal’s CTO James Barrese, the 18 person StackMob team will now be working with PayPal’s core engineering team.

This video shows you what StackMob is all about:

By joining PayPal, the StackMob team will maintain its focus on developers and extending innovative mobile technologies that aim to allow consumers to access the rich capabilities of the PayPal global network, said PayPal’s statement. We believe that our work at PayPal will make it easier for developers to create seamless payment solutions that span online, mobile, and in-store experiences.

PayPal had previously neglected the developer community and has made strong moves towards rectifying that, such as the acquisition of Braintree and release of a new REST API. According to PayPal, StackMob decided to join them in order to eliminate one of the main pain points that developers have been facing – how to monetize their apps and process payments.

Another company operating in this space is Parse – acquired in April 2013 by Facebook. The deal was reportedly worth $85 Mn. Parse hosts mobile app’s backend resources like analytics. This enables them to see which apps are dying out and which ones are spreading like fire. Some of the apps hosted by Parse currently are Hipmunk, Food Network, iBart, Travel Channel and Anypic.