PayPal Acquires Mobile App Development Studio Duff Research To Work On Its Mobile And Digital Wallet

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PayPal is acquiring mobile app development studio Duff Research today. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As PayPal CTO James Barrese wrote in a blog post today: Last year, we began developing all of our products with a mobile-first mentality to drive engaging, simple customer experiences. As PayPal continues to be a leader in mobile payments, we are looking for talented engineers with proven mobile experience to help us imagine, develop and deliver products our customers love. Today, I’m pleased to announce that Duff Research – a group of award-winning mobile app developers – has been acquired by PayPal. This talented team of engineers will be joining the PayPal technology team to help us build creative and simple ways for our customers to use the PayPal digital wallet.

Duff Research, which has not raised any venture capital to date, is a provider of full service mobile app development and user experience for brands and startups. To date, the company shipped more than 40 apps for a number of companies, including TiVo and Fortune 500 companies. Duff’s staff of 18 engineers, designers and others will all be joining PayPal.

Barrese told us in a conversation this morning that the company is going back to its entrepreneurial roots. Part of this process is making sure PayPal has the right teams, talents and strategic technologists, he says, “With Duff, this is an innovative team that has big company experience and startup experience and the ability to move fast in product development.”

PayPal’s last public acquisition was mobile payments startup card.io in the summer of 2012.

It’s no secret that President David Marcus has been eyeing strategic acquisitions that make sense to add to the fabric of PayPal’s technology. Marcus has restructured product and engineering and is looking to add more talent from the startup side of things.

From a revenue and growth standpoint, PayPal had a good Q4. PayPal’s active account growth accelerated to 15% and ended the year with approximately 123 million registered accounts. PayPal added nearly 2 million accounts a month in the fourth quarter, representing the company’s fastest active account growth rate in years.

PayPal just announced that the company’s in-store payments offering is now being used in 18,000 brick and mortar stores nationwide, with 23 retailers signed up in the past year to implement the eBay-owned company’s technology. The company has also been testing a similar pilot with McDonald’s across 30 fast food stores in France which allows purchasers to pre-order their Big Macs on the McDonald’s mobile app or online, pay with PayPal and then skip the line for pick-up.