eBay Invests in a Mobile Future

Acquires app developer Critical Path as mobile shopping surges.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Dec 16, 2010

eBay has acquired Critical Path Software, a company that develops mobile apps, giving the marketplace more resources to continue its push toward mobile.

The acquisition will double the size of eBay's mobile team and allow the company to improve the mobile experience for users, the company says. The two companies have worked together since 2008, when they teamed to develop eBay's iPhone app at the suggestion of Apple. That application has been downloaded more than 14 million times. The two later teamed again to develop mobile apps for StubHub and eBay Classifieds.

Critical Path will "play an integral role" in eBay's development of mobile apps—something eBay is staking its future on.

"We're very serious about innovating in mobile, and this acquisition underscores our commitment to bringing the very best and brightest in the field to eBay," notes Mark Carges, eBay Marketplaces' chief technology officer and vice president of Global Products. "Integrating the Critical Path Software team into eBay will be a big win for mobile shoppers around the world. Combined with the talent on our own team today, we can make shopping and selling anywhere, anytime, for almost anything, even better."

eBay recently paid $75 million to acquire local-inventory tracking app Milo.com, and plans to integrate product feeds from the site into RedLaser, a barcode-scanning mobile app eBay acquired in June.

eBay users are embracing the idea of buying and selling on the go. On Dec. 12, eBay's busiest mobile shopping day, shoppers spent close to $5 million. Since eBay's mobile debut, about 30 million items have been bought and sold within the marketplace using mobile devices.

eBay expects to facilitate $2 billion in sales this year via mobile devices, says eBay CEO John Donahoe.

Holiday shoppers will likely provide a big boost toward reaching that number. Google reports that mobile searches for products, stores and prices have increased by 230 percent this holiday season. Searches for "last-minute deals" are up 40 percent.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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