Merchant Innovation

PayPal’s ‘Modest’ Acquisition

PayPal’s latest move since splitting from eBay is the acquisition of Modest, a firm that powers “buy” buttons inside of mobile apps.

“At PayPal we are always striving to innovate commerce experiences and make them better for both merchants and shoppers. Today, we’re excited to take another big step in this direction as we have agreed to acquire Modest. Modest allows merchants to offer an end-to-end experience that makes selling on any platform easier and simpler. They have built exceptional mobile technology and bring deep talent in contextual commerce to PayPal,” PayPal’s Bill Ready wrote in a post on its new “Stories” blog.

Modest was founded in 2012 by Harper Reed and Dylan Richard as as a tool designed to help merchants either build their own apps, integrate their shop into other apps, or incorporate buy buttons into channel-based marketing efforts while selling on third party sites or marketplaces. They also come into the payments and commerce ecosystem with an interesting and unusual pedigree.

“Harper was also the CTO for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign – Obama for America – and Dylan was the lead engineer for the campaign. I am thrilled that Harper, Dylan, and their very talented team have agreed to join the Braintree team at PayPal. They will be based in our Chicago office, which is an important center of talent and innovation for our company,” Ready wrote. 

On Modest’s part, Reed told VentureBeat in an interview that the sale to PayPal was the most logical step as its business is attempting to grow.

“This won’t be any fun if we’re not able to scale. If we can build a great product, but can’t push this out to millions, then it’s boring…we found this amazing cheat code to get to scale,” he said in the interview. 

Financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, though it seems Modest will be integrated with the Braintree platform. 

“Contextual commerce is an exciting opportunity for PayPal, representing a new frontier for commerce that is rapidly growing. The acquisition of Modest will help us do amazing things in this area, faster than ever before,” Ready wrote.

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