There's a lot of interest in Magento this week, and it's not because of the new X-Men movie (okay, that's Magneto, but you get the picture). eBay (news, site) has acquired the company, after first investing in it a year ago, and is using it, as well as a number of other e-commerce acquisitions recently, to create an e-commerce platform called X.Commerce.
eBay's History with Magento
eBay revealed earlier this year that, a year ago, it had invested in 49% of Magento with US$ 22.5 million, saying that it had not revealed its investment because Magento would continue to operate as an independent company. Magento is an e-commerce platform provider that focuses on small to mid-sized e-retailers, based in Los Angeles with 290 employees.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed; one could assume it would be at least as much as the US$ 22.5 million eBay paid for the first half of Magento.
The company telegraphed its intention to becoming a larger e-commerce player during a meeting with financial analysts in February where the investment was revealed. Said chief technology officer Mark Carges:
Combined with the power of our platform innovations, we can offer retailers an unmatched advantage as an e-commerce partner,” Carges said. “We view our platform assets as enablers, not just for our business but for other retailers.”
The X.Commerce Platform
Which brings us to X.Commerce. According to eBay, X.Commerce is eBay’s newly created integrated open commerce platform group. "It is focused on leveraging the company’s assets and partner technologies to build a strong, robust developer community as a resource for merchants and retailers of all sizes."
GigaOm points out that eBay has made a number of acquisitions in recent months in the e-commerce area, particularly local e-commerce, starting with PayPal and including GSI, RedLaser, Milo, WHERE and Fig Card.
RedLaser allows eBay to insert itself into comparison shopping as mobile consumers use their smartphones to help them shop. Milo helps connect users to the local inventory of products around them. With WHERE, eBay got not only a local guide for mobile users but also a location-based ad network and a deals service called WHEREBuys. That allows eBay to engage a user through an ad or deal; then, by integrating with PayPal for payments, it can close the loop on the transaction and theoretically charge a premium for it. Fig Card, a competitor to Square, also helps merchants accept mobile payments, which can include PayPal. And combined with GSI, which provides e-commerce infrastructure for large retailers and brands, eBay has solutions that appeal to both small and large companies."
The company said that more details will be shared with developers during the X.Commerce Innovate conference — what used to be the PayPal Developers Conference — on Oct. 12-13 in San Francisco.