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LBS company on acquisition spree

US: Groupon, a location-based service (LBS) provider, announced two major acquisitions. It acquired Hyperpublic, a geolocation technology provider; and Kima Labs, a mobile payment specialist firm. About the acquisition of Hyperpublic, Groupon’s CEO Jordan Cooper stated that it is a “huge win for our team and our investors.”

Hyperpublic was founded in 2010 by Cooper and Doug Petkanics, who leads the company’s engineering team and helped forge what Cooper described as a very engineering-focused environment. Hyperpublic raised USD 1.15 million in 2010. But its developer platform is going to be shut down, with maintenance and support continuing through March 2 2012 — all data will be deleted after that. Developers can find a FAQ on transitioning their data here.

On the other hand, acquisition of Kima Labs is a sign how the e-commerce company is getting more focused on mobile as a route to future growth. The company makes mobile barcode reading app Barcode Hero and mobile payment app TapBuy.

As a result of the acquisition, Barcode Hero’s services were shut down from February 20, 2012. That means its iPhone app will no longer be available to download after that date. Those who already use the app will have until March 16, 2012, to download their data.

As for TapBuy, it’s not clear yet what will happen with the company’s service: the site still does not make any mention of the acquisition, so presumably users of its location-based deals will be able to continue using the service.

Like Groupon, TapBuy offers daily deals, in its case for some 100 brands. It also processes transactions using credit card information provided by users, providing some intelligence behind it by grouping purchases together and adding coupons to purchases.
Kima Labs was founded by Blake Scholl and Jason Crawford, who cut their e-commerce teeth at Amazon.com, among other places, and its main focus is mobile shopping.

The Kima Labs acquisition, coupled with the Hyperpublic news, represents a significant pick-up in mobile activity for Groupon under VP of mobile, Michael Shim, who hopped over to Groupon from Yahoo a year ago — one of the many bright execs that Yahoo lost last year in a spate of departures.

Source: techcrunch.com – Part 1 & Part 2