As it bids to boost its 123 million-strong user base, PayPal has acquired Iron Pearl, a start up specialising in customer acquisition and engagement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Palo Alto-based Iron Pearl has developed "groundbreaking tools, methodologies and intellectual property, built on a new understanding of the social and cultural factors that drive the viral spread of products, combined with new approaches to data analysis and predictive modeling," says PayPal chief David Marcus.
The eBay unit hopes to tap into this technology and expertise to accelerate its growth, which is already at record levels, with five million new users signing up in the last three months of 2012.
Iron Pearl founders Stan Chudnovsky and James Currier - who launched the Tickel social media company before selling it to Monster - will both continue to be involved with the company, the former as PayPal VP of growth and the latter as a growth adviser.
Chudnovsky will lead a team focused on growing PayPal's customer base and engaging existing users more actively by tapping data to develop new marketing approaches and product initiatives.
Commenting on Chudnovsky, Marcus says: "He managed to create genuine and sustained viral growth and retention for his own startups, and has advised others to grow at a tremendous pace, leading to hundreds of millions of unique new users. We're confident that applying this unique, and highly effective skill set to PayPal will lead to making our groundbreaking payments experiences even more ubiquitous for our merchants and consumers."