PayPal is exploring a $45 billion acquisition of social media company Pinterest, which will be biggest technology deal of the year and move the payments company closer to its ambitions of becoming a “super app.”
A deal for Pinterest would be PayPal’s biggest-ever acquisition, topping its $4 billion purchase of price-comparison app Honey Science Corp. last year. Under Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman, the company has set its sights on becoming a one-stop shop for all things shopping and finance, akin to China’s Alipay or WeChat. PayPal plans to add a bevy of new services to its revamped app, including high-yield savings accounts, check-cashing services and stock-investing capabilities.
PayPal’s interest comes at a complicated time for Pinterest. The social media company announced this month that co-founder Evan Sharp, who oversaw its design and product teams, will step down. It’s also been dealing with a number of accusations from former employees that Pinterest discriminated against female workers.
Pinterest went public in a 2019 where initial public offering valued the company at just over $10 billion. Its shares closed up 13% at $62.68, giving the company a market valuation of $40 billion.
PayPal’s keenness for acquisitions has been increasing in the past few years as it snapped up competitors and moved into new markets. It bought European small-business commerce platform iZettle in 2018 as part of a bid to better challenge Square Inc.
It then agreed to buy Honey, gaining access to valuable data on consumer buying habits, and in September agreed to buy Japanese startup Paidy inc. for 300 billion yen ($2.6 billion) to deepen its push into “buy now, pay later” offerings.
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