Google has acquired Punchd, a mobile digital loyalty card startup. The company describes itself as "the replacement for your buy-10-get-1-free cards at your favorite shops."
Here's a promo for the service:
On the Punchd site, you can see the following message from the startup:
Punchd hatched at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2010, as a simple solution to a complex problem: How do you connect customers to their favorite shops, restaurants and venues?
We wanted a better solution for loyalty cards, so we built it. Reed Morse and Grantland Chew whipped up the first prototype in an Android Development class, a class offered because Google donated a bunch of Android phones to Cal Poly’s Computer Science department.
We built a senior project, and later a business, around our idea. And while our team of entrepreneurs has stayed small, our ideas have not. We’re excited to announce that Punchd has been acquired by Google! We’ll be joining Google’s Mountain View teams, just down the street from our offices at 500 Startups, to improve how businesses and customers interact.
We appreciate everyone’s support over the past year, and we look forward to sharing our ideas with a larger audience.
We have NOT been acquired.
Google recently announced Google Wallet, its potentially game-changing mobile payments solution, and while little detail has been revealed about what exactly the acquisition will entail, one can only assume it will be tied into this, and maybe even Google Offers at some point. Co-founder Reed Morse did reportedly say the six-person team would continue to work on Punchd following the acquisition, indicating the product will continue for at least the immediate future.