AisleBuyer, makers of a virtual shopping assistant app that lets in-store customers bypass checkout lines by paying directly on their mobile phone, has been acquired by Intuit. The Boston-based startup will be joining Intuit’s payments team, where their technology will be used to transition Intuit’s existing point-of-sale solutions as well as Intuit’s Square competitor GoPayment to the cloud.
The solution will also be opened up to Intuit’s own developers as well as third-party developers, according to the company.
I’m really happy to share with you that the rumors are true! AisleBuyer has joined the Intuit team to develop superior solutions to meet the mobile point of sale needs for small business. By leveraging our technology and talent, together with Intuit’s rock star payments team, we will continue to work on creating the best small business POS solutions in the world.
For the past three years we’ve enjoyed the support and camaraderie of the Boston start-up community. As we embark on this next stage in our evolution, we are lucky to be staying in our offices in the Innovation District, and can’t wait to work with our new friends to create the future of the mobile point of sale payments business. We really appreciate everyone’s support in making this happen. It’s been an amazing ride that we’re excited to take forward.
For those unfamiliar with the company, AisleBuyer allowed shoppers to skip checkout lines – or even self-serve checkouts – by paying with their credit card directly on their mobile phone. Initially, the company required you to manually enter your credit card information, but it later rolled out an update which allowed you to snap a photo of card to have the info entered via OCR.
The app, available on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, also allowed shoppers to scan an item’s barcode to learn more about the product, see ratings and reviews, or even order the item from the company’s website and have it shipped to their home.
On the retailers’ side, AisleBuyer provided analytics surrounding scans, showing, for example, which products had been scanned but not purchased, among other things.
The startup makes for a smart acquisition by Intuit, whose GoPayment product has been fighting competitor Square fiercely, matching Square on per transaction fees, and beating Square in being first to market in Canada at the beginning of the year. With integrated technology from AisleBuyer, GoPayment would have an interesting selling point – not only could merchants accept transactions on mobile, they could eliminate the face-to-face interactions altogether. That’s something Square is already doing through geofencing techniques – shoppers within 100 meters of a Square merchant can just say their name at checkout today.
With AisleBuyer’s support for barcode scanning – support for allowing merchants to track those scans – AisleBuyer fits Intuit’s target merchant profile – not the individual seller who couldn’t afford to accept credit cards, necessarily, but the small to medium-sized merchant who wants a mobile payments option.
The two companies had begun working together in partnership this year, exploring integration possibilities between the two companies’ solutions. However, an Intuit spokesperson says, “we soon realized that we could accelerate the value of a fully integrated offering easier as one organization, rather through a partnership.”
AisleBuyer employees in Boston will continue to work from their office in Boston, while employees in Palo Alto will work from Intuit’s Mountain View offices.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. AisleBuyer had raised a $7.5 million round of Series E funding last June, led by Old Willow Partners, LLC (which led AisleBuyer’s first round of funding in 2010). The new round brought the total raised to $11.5 million.