eBay Acquires WHERE, MissionFish

Chris CrumBusiness

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Two bits of acquisition news coming out of eBay today. First, the company has completed its previously announced acquisition of location media company WHERE. Terms of the deal were still not revealed.

“Local commerce companies like WHERE are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping,” said PayPal’s 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,” she added. “As John Donahoe said at analyst day, eBay Inc. is at the forefront of a new retail landscape, which is more convenient, more accessible, more local and – and more relevant to more consumers than ever before.”

The company has also acquired MissionFish, the technology and team that powers the eBay Giving Works program. This is a program that's been around since 2003. It helped the eBay community raise $54.8 million for US and UK nonprofits last year. A donation is made every 24 seconds through the program, raising $91 every minute, according to the company.

eBay Giving Works

eBay's Richard Brewer-Hay writes, "It seems a natural progression for the eBay Giving Works team and one that can only strengthen the future for all that they’re aimed at accomplishing."

"Personally, I’m excited to welcome additional experienced social entrepreneurs directly into the eBay family making it possible for us to serve the nonprofit sector even better than before," he adds. "Great stuff!"

Sean Milliken, Founder of MissionFish, wrote a message on the MissionFish site, saying:

This move is a strong endorsement by eBay of the program, and of the idea that a global company can deliver a dramatic social impact through their products and properties. In addition to bringing our seasoned social entrepreneurs in-house, eBay is investing their money, their people and their brainpower into our mission. I am energized by their commitment, and have set my sights even higher on what we can accomplish together.

Going forward, count on us to keep doing what we've always done: power eBay Giving Works, and launch new ideas that drive resources to organizations everywhere. Initially we'll work with Points of Light to process and deliver U.S. donations (just like we do today). Eventually, a new nonprofit, staffed by members of the MissionFish team, will be responsible for donation handling.

We started this venture in 1999, and have reinvented ourselves repeatedly in the eleven years since. Through it all we've been carried forward by a true focus on our vision, and by the friends, nonprofits and donors whose trust is our secret ingredient. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the Points of Light Institute, who gave us a home and were early believers in our mission.

Points of Light is the institute that has been running MissionFish until now.

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.