Yahoo's Chief Mobile Engineer, Sandeep Gupta, Lands At Next Jump

On Friday, I caught wind that the engineering director in charge of Yahoo’s mobile app development, Sandeep Gupta, had resigned. Now I know where he landed: Next Jump.

Gupta formerly worked at Apple on the iPod, and put out a slew of iPhone and Blackberry apps for Yahoo, including the Flickr iPhone app, Yahoo Messenger, and the Yahoo Entertainment iPad app. His hire by Next Jump signals that the New York City e-commerce company is planning a big push into mobile apps. Next Jump currently operates employee discount and corporate perks programs for more than 90,000 companies and organizations. It also runs one of MasterCard’s rewards programs. Ram Shriram is an investor and board member.

Next Jump targets consumers with deals, and convinces merchants to offer discounts and treat them as a marketing expense. It currently operates a couple of daily deal mobile apps, including Overwhelming Offers on the iPhone and iPad, and Shopping Goddess, where shoppers can gain followers by writing product and store reviews and get discounts by becoming the “mayor” of a store. Next Jump is planning a travel destination review app and a holiday shopping guide with hooks into social commerce.

Daily deal and flash sale sites like Groupon and Gilt are all the rage right now, but Next Jump already has deep ties with more than 30,000 merchants and has been building targeting algorithms which increasingly turn discounts into conversions. The company has mostly stayed behind the scenes powering corporate rewards portals, but its mobile apps are aimed straight at consumers.