In a move likely related to its rumored games-friendly social network, Google has reportedly purchased Jambool and its virtual currency payments product Social Gold for as much as $75 million.
Jambool is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2006 by Amazon.com veterans Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein. Last October, it launched Social Gold as an online payments and virtual currency platform that players could integrate into their free-to-play MMOs, virtual worlds, casual online games, and social games/applications.
Though neither Google or Jambool have commented on the acquisition, TechCrunch cites multiple sources that suggest a purchase price
of around $55 million for Jambool, with another $15 million to $20 million promised if the company reaches certain goals.
This news follows a week after Google announced its purchase
of social games developer Slide, also located in San Francisco, for $182 million. Prior to that, the search company reportedly invested between $100 million to $200 million
developer Zynga, the most popular developer on Facebook, according to total monthly active users across its catalog.
Last month, several sources also claimed that Google met with a number of major social gaming companies
like Disney's Playdom and Electronic Arts's Playfish about creating a games-friendly social network -- possibly titled "Google Me" -- as a Facebook rival. The company has yet to confirm any concrete details or the existence of the rumored social network.