Google Buys Jambool to Rival Facebook Credits

Aug 15th, 2010 | By technologynews | Category: Technology

Google confirmed that it acquired Jambool, whose
Solid Gold platform provides a virtual currency service for providers of online
games and others who want to put payment options in their applications.

broke the news August 9, saying the deal was worth $70 million. Jambool and
Google confirmed the deal August 13.

Jambool’s Solid Gold virtual payment platform lets
application developers insert payment options into online games and other

Jambool would provide another piece of the puzzle that is
Google’s social network, joining Google’s newly acquired social widget maker Slide and the
investment and partnership with online gaming provider Zynga.

Slide provides popular widgets for Facebook and Zynga’s
Farmville and Mafia Wars keep many of Facebook’s 500 million social network
users engaged.

With Zynga, Slide and Jambool, Google has social gaming,
social applications and virtual payments in place, three of the key ingredients
that have made Facebook such a successful social network.

However, a Google spokesperson did not mention the word
“social” in its statement to eWEEK confirming the deal:

“We’re pleased and excited to welcome the Jambool
team to Google. We are committed to offering consumers and merchants innovative
digital payment solutions and Jambool will help Google evolve our payments
offering and expand into digital goods and content”

When asked what Google will use Jambool for, the
spokesperson said:

“E-commerce is a critical part of the Web experience
for many users, and the very talented Jambool team will be a valuable asset to
Google as we work to improve these experiences.”

Jambool CEO Vikas Gupta and CTO Reza Hussein, who
previously worked on, announced the deal in a
company blog post August 13, and promised in this
FAQ to preserve its payment platform for existing customers.

“In the first half of 2010, we’ve processed more
than double the entire payment volume we processed in all of 2009,” Gupta
and Hussein wrote.

“And we’ve welcomed hundreds of developers to our
platform. The fact that our highest revenue day was in the last week attests to
the continued growth of online gaming.”

Social Gold’s success in the face of Facebook Credits, a
popular platform that has attracted thousands of application developers, is a
testament to the rising popularity in virtual payment opportunities.

While Google has yet to confirm plans for its
social network, it’s safe to conclude there is one in the works given these
nearly $500 million in investments.

Slide cost Google $228 million, Jambool cost $70 million and
Google’s investment in Zynga is reportedly $100 million or more.



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