PayPal to acquire shopping and rewards tech platform Honey for $4bn

David Murphy

PaylPal is buying Honey Science Corporation, a technology platform for shopping and rewards, for approximately $4bn (£3.1bn). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 PayPal said the acquisition will transform the shopping experience for PayPal’s consumers, while increasing sales and customer engagement for its merchants.

Founded in 2012, Honey is best known as a discovery tool that helps consumers find savings as they shop online. The company has continued to grow and evolve, expanding its suite of products and services to include a mobile shopping assistant, offers and rewards program, and price-tracking tools and alerts. Honey currently works across approximately 30,000 online retailers ranging from fashion and technology, to travel and pizza delivery, and has 17m monthly active users.

PayPal said that Honey will accelerate its growth by driving adoption among PayPal and Venmo’s more than 275m active consumer accounts and sourcing exclusive offers from PayPal’s network of 24m merchant accounts. At the same time, Honey will enable PayPal to reach consumers at the beginning of their shopping journeys and will enhance PayPal’s ability to help merchants acquire and convert consumers by delivering offers that are personalized, timely, and optimized across channels.

“Honey is amongst the most transformative acquisitions in PayPal’s history. It provides a broad portfolio of services to simplify the consumer shopping experience, while at the same time making it more affordable and rewarding,” said PayPal president and CEO, Dan Schulman. “The combination of Honey’s complementary consumer products with our platform will significantly enhance our ability to drive engagement and play a more meaningful role in the daily lives of our consumers. As a partner of choice for our merchants, this is another way that we can help them build and strengthen their customer relationships, provide personalized offers, and drive incremental sales. The combination of Honey and PayPal adds another significant and meaningful dimension to our two-sided platform.”

Following the acquisition, Honey will retain its headquarters and brand in Los Angeles, California. Honey co-founders George Ruan and Ryan Hudson will continue to lead the Honey team as part of PayPal’s global consumer product and technology organization, reporting to Senior Vice President John Kunze.