Google today acquired Dealmap, a San Francisco-based start-up that aggregates local and daily deals, in a push to further its efforts in the fiercely-competitive mobile payment market.
Dealmap, started in May 2010, announced the deal but didn’t disclose the terms of the deal. The company has over two million users and 85 million monthly users on its network of Web, mobile social and e-mail products.
“In Google we’ve found the perfect partner that shares our passion — helping people save money while having great local experiences,” a Dealmap spokesman said. “We believe that joining Google will help us innovate in new and unexplored areas of commerce.”
For now, Google said it will support Dealmap’s partners, but the Internet search giant is pushing ahead with its mobile payment plans. Google is expected to integrate Dealmap into its “Google Offers” service, to deliver discounts to online customers from local businesses.
Groupon famously rebuffed Google’s $6 billion offer last year. Since then, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company introduced “Google Wallet,” a service that lets Android owners buy goods and services by tapping or swiping their devices at a merchant’s payment reader, using near-field communications, or NFC, technology. Google is testing Google Wallet in New York, San Francisco and Portland this summer.
Once up and running, Google Offers will work with Google Wallet. The combination will let users search for, and redeem, online coupons at the point of sale.
The combination of Google Wallet and Offers marks a serious push by the search engine giant into mobile payments, an emerging market already filled with competitors. Some, like the Isis initiative between major credit card companies and AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, mirror Google Wallet’s approach of NFC-based point-of-purchase transactions.
Others, like the recently announced partnership between Verizon and American Express, rely on software and apps to store financial information that can be used anywhere connected to the Internet.
Amid mounting competition, Google’s suite of services may gain a foothold, especially if its Offers feature gains steam with consumers enamoured with daily deals. The addition of Dealmap’s technology to Offers to aggregate the burgeoning slate of local coupon services may create an enticing entry point for Google’s mobile financial services, enabling it to build a strong user base.
Dealmap was founded by Jennifer Dulski, a former Yahoo executive, and Chandu Thota, the lead programmer on Microsoft Virtual Earth.