You know what sucks? Waiting in line. You know what’s awesome? Beard Papa’s cream puffs. What are you going to do when faced with those two options? You’re going to look for a line-skipping app (or invest in a flame-thrower). That’s what you’re going to do.
GoPago came up with just such an app in 2009, and has since branched out to offer a whole mobile point-of-sale system for small businesses. Now, the Square competitor has reportedly been acquired by Amazon for an undisclosed sum, according to Italian newspapers.
Italian-born CTO Vincenzo Di Nicola spoke with Il Centro and La Repubblica and revealed the acquisition, while also adding a few other interesting tidbits, such as the fact that the GoPago technology will be at the heart of an “ambitious” new project. Di Nicola also stated that GoPago’s headcount has topped 70 (although it’s not clear whether all will stay on board as GoPago heads over to Amazon’s neck of the woods). But Di Nicola will likely not be joining the team at Amazon as he plans to move back to Italy.
GoPago was founded as a line-skipping app that allowed users to pay for an item in advance and then go pick it up without having to wait. The idea came to CEO Leo Rocco in 2007 when he missed Barry Bonds's record-breaking home run while he was waiting in line at a concessions stand.
In 2012, the startup decided to expand its horizons into the point-of-sale territory. Like Square, PayPal, Groupon, and all of the other commerce startups that came before it, GoPago allows business owners to ditch the cash registers of yore and run their businesses from a tablet that connects with a cash box and a receipt printer.
Amazon could not be reached for comment, so it’s not entirely clear how it plans to integrate the tech, or what “ambitious project” it’s working on. About a year ago, TechCrunch reported that Amazon was working on a mobile payments product that would compete with Square, Intuit GoPayment, and PayPal Here. Amazon’s product would reportedly offer rates as low as 1.9%.
GoPago’s technology would be an obvious shoe-in for such a project. But it’s more fun to speculate about a consumer-facing app that would allow users to purchase an item via Amazon and pick it up at a nearby location, like the Amazon Locker service—or maybe even a partner retailer (Ooh!).
GoPago raised a round of venture funding back in February 2012 from J.P. Morgan—which, incidentally, has also invested in Square.