Ebay’s PayPal has acquired Chicago-based payments gateway Braintree, in an all-cash deal worth $800 million. We had originally reported that Braintree was on the block, with Square and PayPal both in acquisition talks for the company.
Although owner eBay is leading on the news, the intention is to combine Braintree with its PayPal payments business. “Braintree is a perfect fit with PayPal,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe in a statement. “Bill Ready [CEO of Braintree] and his team add complementary talent and technology that we believe will help accelerate PayPal’s global leadership in mobile payments. Together, we expect that PayPal and Braintree also will accelerate our leadership in supporting developers who are creating innovative solutions for next generation commerce startups.” Ready will report to David Marcus, who is the president of PayPal.
Braintree — which had raised $69 million in outside funding from Accel, NEA, RRE, Greycroft and others — was founded in 2007. Braintree essentially powers and automates online payments for merchants and companies online. The company provides a merchant account, payment gateway, recurring billing, credit card storage, support for mobile and international payments, and PCI Compliance solutions. Braintree has become a one-stop-shop for all the services a business needs to receive payments from anywhere in the world.
Braintree is now seeing $12 billion in payments annually, with over $4 billion of that on mobile. The service is used by a number of startups and tech companies, including Airbnb, Fab, LivingSocial, Uber, Twilio, GitHub and others.
But as Ready noted today, the deal will mean that Braintree can expand its prospects even further. “The alignment with PayPal means Braintree can continue to push the boundaries of innovation while expanding into new markets with increased speed and confidence,” he said. “Our current customers and developer community can expect the same level of support and partnership they’ve always enjoyed, coupled with more resources.”
In addition, Braintree operates Venmo, a mobile payments solution the company acquired last year for $26.2 million. We’re hearing that Venmo, which allows people to pay and send money to each other for free, was a key part of what attracted PayPal to the company.
It’s unclear yet how Venmo’s technology will be integrated into PayPal’s core platform but eBay noted in its statement today that it “will help to contribute to PayPal’s mobile payments capabilities.” PayPal is forecasting mobile payments volumes on its platform of over $20 billion this year.
Though Braintree was an early mover in the online payments space, these days competition with other services like Stripe and Balanced has been making things tougher on the company.
We heard from sources that while acquisition talks with Square stalled, negotiations with PayPal were taking place over the past month or so. We also heard Braintree was asking for a hefty $1 billion.
With Braintree on board, PayPal, which last acquired IronPearl in the Spring of this year, could take on Stripe in acquiring more business in the area of of the online checkouts. It’s also a good way to bring in fresh talent to the organization, which is attempting to reinvigorate innovation and product development these days.