EBay plans to acquire Where, Inc., a mobile media company which makes an app offering localized deals and guides accompanied by location-centric ads. Where also recently purchased another daily deals site called LocalGinger which it has refigured as WhereBuys. According to a post by a PayPal exec on the company’s blog, eBay sees “a huge opportunity for local merchants to reach more buyers” by providing customers with “hyper-local, relevant retailer information and deals.”
Ebay and its PayPal subsidiary are pushing into mobile and local commerce in hopes of becoming more convenient, more accessible, and more relevant to customers, they say. PayPal has admitted to having fallen behind in the mobile arena in the past, and wants to regain lost ground: “We were late to the Internet payments,” a PayPal VP said last year. “We are not going to make that mistake with mobile and we are all in.”
PayPal claims to be wasting no time in taking full advantage of its new purchase: “As a first step,” said the post on PayPal's blog, “we plan to integrate PayPal into the Where mobile app to make it even easier for PayPal customers to take advantage of the local deals.”
EBay will also be gaining some valuable intellectual property, including a patent that Where's CEO referred to as the "mother of all geofencing patents," covering nearly every app that triggers an action (like sending location-based alerts or offering coupons) when a user crosses a predetermined boundary.
The deal is expected to close later this quarter.