Patent-pending technology guarantees the integrity
of your loyalty program. GPS triangulation, velocity
analysis, and statistical variation keep things secure.
Regardless, any small business with a loyalty program would pick up on some guy that comes in repeatedly for free stuff. Their reports would probably indicate it too. An electronic version like this is definitely more secure than a punchcard, which can easily be gamed by going to your local art store.
hardware took ages to develop.. It still doesn't work for BB.. ;)
I agree current implementation isn't exactly ideal, but we'll probably find a good compromise soon.
And as always, congratulations! Great and fun business and I'm glad for Google that they picked them up.
I like the product and am excited for the team, but $10mil seems a bit high to me for a pretty early product. I'm assuming that this will eventually roll into Google wallet as a competitor to Square's card case.
In any case, this is great news for the young team - looks like they'll continue their work but within the confines of Google. Looks like Dave McClure's hypothesis is getting stronger by the day with a few 500 startups companies getting snapped up recently (Backtype to Twitter and Cardmunch to Linkedin).
(disclosure- we're a fellow 500startups company - go 500!)
Secondly, it is interesting because there are indeed a bunch of other punch-card replacement apps. Even here in Australia I know of at least two. If it's a pure talent acquisition (which seems to be a logical conclusion) then it is indeed quite a large sum.
I can't imagine Google wouldn't already have begun development of a similar concept when creating Google Wallet.
It's fantastic for the founders though. Not having met them, and just based on what I've read here, they seem like great guys.
It does seem reasonable to start some patent paperwork if it increases our company's leverage. But how interested are larger companies in this sort of thing?
Is patentability a criterion to think about when choosing the direction of a startup?
However, most startups with time and not too much $ can file a provisional patent for "patent pending" status, which is likely what Punchd has. It's really just a way to extend the patent filing deadline an extra year.
Thus the value of an un-examined, pending patent to a deal is negligible -- especially to Google. Most pending patents are never granted.