eBay, which has been on quite the mobile start-up acquisition spree of late, made it public today that it has acquired Where, a company that makes location-based mobile applications and operates a network of local ads and deals.
More specifically, Boston-based Where has been purchased by eBay's PayPal division, which plans to make the start-up a part of its suite of services for local businesses while keeping the Where consumer app intact.
"Local commerce companies like Where are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping," noted a PayPal blog post by senior director of global communications Amanda Pires. "By giving people hyper-local, relevant retailer information and deals on their mobile phones, we see a huge opportunity for local merchants to reach more buyers, and for consumers to get more choice and value when they shop. As a first step, we plan to integrate PayPal into the Where mobile app to make it even easier for PayPal customers to take advantage of the local deals."
Late last year, eBay acquired Milo, a search service that focused on inventory at brick-and-mortar stores; the PayPal blog post about Where cited Milo as an example of its tighter focus on mobile technologies and local businesses. "Since we don't compete with our merchants, we are in a unique position to partner with retailers of all sizes and help people shop and pay anytime, anywhere and in any way they want," the post noted.
The purchase of Where also brings eBay further into the area of geolocation--what Foursquare and Facebook Places have popularized--as well as local deals in the vein of Groupon.
The price tag wasn't disclosed.