eBay acquires payments giant Braintree for $800M to bolster PayPal mobile

The payment platform firm will complement eBay-owned PayPal's already burgeoning mobile business, as well as its social-driven payments model.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
Chicago city mayor Rahm Emanuel at Braintree offices
Image: Braintree

eBay has agreed to buy global payments platform Braintree for $800 million as it seeks to evolve PayPal's mobile strategy.

The retail turned mobile payments giant, following its purchase of PayPal in 2002, said on Thursday the buy was a "perfect fit with PayPal." 

Braintree has some high profile companies under its belt, not limited to Airbnb, OpenTable, and mobile car service Uber. The company acquired Venmo in 2012 for $26.2 million, a social payments service that allows users to send and receive money on the fly, considered one of Braintree's crown jewels.

While PayPal is already projecting mobile payment volume of more than $20 billion this year, the hope is PayPal's burgeoning presence in mobile will further expand to the developer and startup community thanks to Braintree's established hooks in these niche spaces.

Under the terms of the deal, eBay anticipates "immaterial impact" to PayPal's net total payment volume. But it noted that Braintree's projected $12 billion payment volume for 2013 — around one-third driven by mobile payments — will lead to a large portion of Braintree's overall volume not added to PayPal's total payment volume of $20 billion.

In short, Braintree will likely have very little impact on PayPal's overall total payments for this year, and will be treated as PayPal's "payment gateway business," with only revenue being recorded.

Braintree chief executive Bill Ready said the acquisition will help "push the boundaries of innovation," while at the same time "expanding into new markets." 

Meanwhile, PayPal president David Marcus said he believed the deal will help "accelerate our capabilities for developers, entrepreneurs, merchants and companies."

Ready will report to Marcus under the new arrangement, and Braintree management and employees are "expected" to stay in place, eBay said.

The deal is expected to close in late 2013, the companies said.

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