Google To Buy Mobile Loyalty Card Startup Punchd

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We’ve just gotten word that that Google plans on acquiring digital loyalty card service Punchd. The team, which consists of developers Reed Morse, Xander Pollock and Niket Desai (and formerly Grantland Chew), will most likely still be working on Punchd within Google according to our source. While our original source pegged the deal at a low seven figures, a second source pegged the acquisition price at more than $10 million.

Punchd, which is basically the digital equivalent of the “Buy 10 Get One Free Card” offered by coffee shops and supermarkets, is part of Dave McClure’s first 500 Startups brood. The acquisition makes complete sense for Google considering how much the NFC and deals space is heating up and the recent Google Wallet announcement.

It’s been a great week for 500 Startups, which has now sold a company to Twitter (BackType), LinkedIn (CardMunch) and Google. Punchd itself actually made our list of  “The Seven Most Interesting Startups At 500 Startups Demo Day” back in April (Guess Google agreed).

Fun fact: The company were accepted to the 500 Startups brood of “little monsters” after they “Iced” McClure.

Update: Punchd denies that it’s been acquired.