Developer StackMob joins PayPal

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PayPal's dreaming of a mobile Christmas

StackMob, a development team that created a platform for companies to easily create mobile applications, has been picked up by PayPal's payments unit.

The StackMob website claims that the San Francisco-based team has been "fundamentally changing the way developers build mobile applications". The developer will join PayPal's core engineering team to help refresh its platforms, ready for future development of apps and services.

Announcing the news on the company's blog, PayPal chief technology officer James Barrese said, "We are thrilled to have the StackMob team put those same skills and expertise toward enhancing PayPal's technology stack."

PayPal did not disclose the terms of the deal between the two. Due to rumours of low asking prices and rejection of the company by other online firms such as Yahoo, however, it may not be a blockbuster fee.

Battle for m-commerce

StackMob CEO Ty Amell said the reason he sold the four-year old startup was because monetisation and payments remained a constant challenge for them. It isn't clear whether PayPal will support StackMob clients, which Amell wrote would be communicated "very soon".

PayPal processed $4 billion ($2.44 billion, AU$4.4 billion) in mobile payments in 2011, nearly $14 billion (£8.5 billion, AU$15.7 billion) in 2012 and predicts it will process over $20 billion (£12 billion, AU$22 billion) in mobile payments in 2013. It has been a cash-machine for parent company eBay, accounting for 42 per cent of its revenue last quarter. A large part of this is down to exponential increases in mobile retailing. Scooping up mobile developers, PayPal is arming itself in the looming battle over who is king of m-commerce.

In 2011 PayPal acquired WHERE, a Boston startup that focused on location technology and data for mobile advertising. In September this year the company picked up mobile payments company Braintree, whose app Venmo enables fast and easy mobile payment, for $800 million (£489 million, AU$898 million).