After rumors that Samsung was in talks to buy out BlackBerry, we’re now getting wind of another big acquisition. The folks at TechCrunch seem to have it on good authority that Google is engaging in talks to buy up mobile payments company Softcard for less than $100 million to help bolster their own NFC payment service, Google Wallet.
Softcard — formerly Isis Mobile wallet — was a joint effort by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile looking to corner the mobile payments market, but more recently, has been in a “consolidation phase,” laying off more than 60 employees as they attempt to strengthen their business by cutting costs and reorganizing their business structure. Apparently morale within the company is at an all time low, with some employees no longer even showing up for work.
While neither Google nor Softcard would comment about an acquisition, it’s worth pointing out that sub $100 million dollar amount being thrown around is significantly less than the hundreds of millions of dollars the big 3 carriers had originally invested into a company once looking to compete with Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Sources say at one point, Softcard’s burn rate was around $15 million a month.
Other companies said to be licking their chops over Softcard is PayPal and Microsoft, with the possibility of even AT&T or Verizon taking the struggling company under their wing. As for Google, they are more or less eying Softcard’s treasure trove of patents, which tips the scales at around 120 in all. Well, applications anyway. We’ll let you know when we hear more.