One of the companies best known for Internet payments is strengthening its position amid the next big land rush: mobile payments. eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) bought location-aware app developer Where Wednesday for a reported $135 million, and plans to add its PayPal service to Where’s mobile application.
Where is a mobile application on the iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms that lets the 4 million people who have downloaded it find new options for eating, drinking, or shopping mapped to their physical location. The company also boasts an ad network, and PayPal’s Amanda Pires seemed pleased about the potential to marry both to PayPal’s payments system, perhaps the crown jewel of eBay’s assets.
“By giving people hyper-local, relevant retailer information and deals on their mobile phones, we see a huge opportunity for local merchants to reach more buyers, and for consumers to get more choice and value when they shop,” Pires wrote in a blog post. Of course, with PayPal integrated into the Where app, PayPal would also get a cut of transactions that are processed through the app, such as daily deals. It also gives PayPal a mobile platform for furthering its expansion into mobile payments, the darling of the mobile world in 2011. This isn’t as new to PayPal, however, which it expected to process $2 billion in mobile payments this year, an executive said at CTIA last month.
Where, based in Boston, is pretty old for a startup, having been in existence since 2004. The company has 120 employees and plans to stay in Boston, according to a PayPal representative. PayPal is not disclosing the purchase price, according to the representative, which was reported at $135 million by BostInnovation. Where representatives did not immediately respond to inquiries.