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eBay buys Braintree, a payments start-up


By JENNA WORTHAM

New York Times

First published Sep 26 2013 03:18PM
Updated Sep 26, 2013 03:18PM

EBay said Thursday that it was acquiring Braintree, a Chicago payments start-up, for $800 million in cash. The company plans to combine it with its payments division, PayPal.

Braintree provides technology to an impressive roster of companies to help them process payments on the Web and mobile devices. Its clients include Rovio, Uber, OpenTable, Fab, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Heroku. Braintree, which says it processes more than $12 billion a year, has long been a start-up to watch. The company also owns Venmo, a popular application that lets people pay each other through text messages.

David Marcus, the president of PayPal, said that the company had been watching Braintree for some time now.

"Their obsession with removing friction for next-generation commerce matched our own," he said in a phone interview Thursday. "They bet on mobile very early on, and their growth there has been phenomenal."

Marcus also said that Braintree’s international reach impressed him, and the fact that the company was a good fit culturally. He said that Braintree would remain in Chicago and Venmo in New York, but the companies would collaborate to continue to find ways to "build a payments operating system that others can innovate on top of."

Braintree is the latest company to be added to eBay’s shopping cart. The company also recently acquired Hunch, a recommendation engine; Svpply, a social shopping site; and Red Laser, a bar-code scanning application.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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