Google buys another games-related company in its bid to piece together a strategy that will compete with Facebook. According to Techcrunch, Google is buying Jambool, a virtual items payment company that allows developers to build payments directly into their games. The purchase price is reported as $55 million with an additional earn out of $15 – 20 million.
I was a bit confused of Google’s purchase of Slide last week.The purchase of Jambool, however, makes a bit more sense. Google needs a competitive product to Facebook Credits and Jambool’s Social Gold fits the bill.
Moreover, I met with the CEO of Jambool last year (ex-Amazon executive Vikas Gupta) and he told me about they were their Social Gold can allow the integration of virtual items payments within flash apps. For Google, this technology is applicable for both social games as well as Android, which embraces flash (unlike Apple and it’s devices). Any acquisition that can tie together all of Google gaming initiatives across all devices makes perfect sense to me.
Though I am sure Jambool and its investors expected to sell for a higher price when they started the enterprise, this is a good exit considering the hit they have taken by Facebook introducing its Credits platform. For its competitors (e.g., Offerpal, Peanut Labs), it’s good to see Jambool succeed but it’s bad that Google is no longer a possible acquisition partner. As Facebook Credits continues to take over social games and Google continues to build up its arsenal, the options to sell out become more limited.