PayPal is dumping a whole lot of cash into the business of coupons.
The company previously owned by eBay says it’s buying Honey, a finder of discount codes, for “approximately $4 billion.” The size of the deal makes it one of the largest tech acquisitions of 2019 to date.
So how are coupon extensions and an app worth $4 billion? According to PayPal’s press release, Honey is popular. PayPal says the service has “approximately 17 million monthly active users” and helped users “find more than $1 billion in savings”—about one-quarter of Honey’s purchase price—over the past year.
In the same release, PayPal says its plan for Honey is to tie the service somehow into PayPal and Venmo, perhaps by squeezing deals into Venmo to make the money-sending service more “engaging” or “social.” And it’s easy to imagine how Honey might make it easier for PayPal to follow users around while they shop, instead of just appearing as an option at the bottom of their checkout carts.
PayPal shares were down about 2% in after-hours trading.