Search engine giant Google has acquired loyalty card start-up Punchd to boost its efforts to compete against Groupon.
Rumours about the potential acquisition had started doing rounds last week, but at the time Punchd had denied the reports on its Twitter account.
When users purchase something from a partner store with a loyalty programme, they are asked to scan a QR code with their smartphone. The Punchd app simply keeps a track of the number of QR codes scanned and alerts users when they are eligible for receiving loyalty awards.
The amount for the acquisition has not been revealed, but experts believe that what Punchd has to offer will integrate well with Google’s upcoming Google Offers service, which will give direct competition to Groupon.
“We’re excited to announce that Punchd has been acquired by Google! We’ll be joining Google’s Mountain View teams, just down the street from our offices at 500 Startups, to improve how businesses and customers interact,” the six-man start-up said in a blog post.
Google has kept mum on how it will be using the service but some believe that the acquisition might also bring Google a good bunch of Android developers as well.