Online payment giant PayPal is reportedly circling around visual discovery social media platform Pinterest, with reports of a potential big-money buy out in the works.
According to Bloomberg, PayPal made a bid to buy Pinterest on Wednesday in what could turn out to be a $45 billion deal. The online payment company is said to be using its high share price to fund the acquisition.
The move, if completed, would see PayPal moving into a new area of social commerce. Pinterest is a visual discovery engine that uses a pinboard-like approach to enable users to gain and share inspiration for fresh styles, home improvement tips, new recipes, and the like.
Tied into this is the ability for Pinterest’s 450 million users to click through and purchase the items that they discover through the app. Pinterest finally added this integrated social commerce feature in 2015, five years after its founding, and this is evidently where PayPal’s interest lies.
PayPal has been looking to diversify in recent times. Just recently, the company acquired Japanese ‘buy now, pay later’ company Paidy for $2.7 billion.
As the Financial Times points out, PayPal appears to be looking to China’s giant WeChat platform for inspiration for its current acquisition strategy. WeChat fulfils a variety of social media and online payment functions for Chinese users, and PayPal evidently wishes to fulfil the same ‘super app’ role for Western smartphone users.
Last week Pinterest co-founder and chief design and creative officer Evan Sharp announced that he was stepping down from his role to join Jony Ive’s new company, LoveFrom.