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BusinessE-commerce & FulfillmentModern ShipperNewsRecent News

PayPal dives into post-purchase sector with acquisition of Happy Returns

Acquisition is second this year for payments provider as it broadens its footprint

PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) will acquire e-commerce returns specialist Happy Returns. Terms were not disclosed.

The news was first reported by CNBC.

Frank Keller, senior vice president of consumer in-store and digital commerce at PayPal, told CNBC the acquisition fits with PayPal’s vision moving forward.

“The post-purchase experience is something we’ve been looking into since it’s such a pain point — people want to shop online and return in store, and vice versa,” he said. “For retailers, we’re providing more comprehensive services beyond payments.”

Happy Returns works with merchants to facilitate returns of online purchases, either by returning items to stores, to one of Happy Returns’ 350-plus Return Bar locations or through pickup by carrier. The company is based in Santa Monica, California, and counts USVP, Upfront Ventures and Lowercase Capital among its investors. 

According to Crunchbase data, Happy Returns has raised $25 million across five funding rounds. The most recent round was an $11 million Venture Round by PayPal Ventures in April 2019.

The company was founded by David Sobie, who serves as CEO, and Mark Geller, currently COO. 

It launched its Return Bar in 2019. To increase efficiency in the returns’ logistics operations, Happy Returns aggregates individual returns into one large palletized shipment.

“In a return bar, we may accept around 40 items a day, which can come from 20 different retailers. But all those items are going together in a single box to one of our processing hubs, where we aggregate across all the return bars, and send one large aggregated shipment back to the retailer or the next best place,” CEO David Sobie said at the time.

PayPal just announced its best quarter ever, with revenue growth of 29% year-over-year on revenues topping $6.03 billion in Q1.

“Customers across the world have clearly embraced the digital economy and PayPal has become the [choice of many],” Dan Schulman, president and CEO, said on the investor earnings call May 5. “We continue to see a strong demand for a comprehensive set of services from both our merchants and consumers.”


Read: PayPal plans to take Curv to improve crypto payment security

Read: Happy Returns launches a kiosk that takes ecommerce return items


The acquisition of Happy Returns is the second this year for PayPal.

In March, PayPal acquired Curv, a provider of cloud-based infrastructure for digital asset securities such as cryptocurrencies. The payment provider first announced in November that U.S. account holders could buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets, with a weekly purchase limit of $20,000.

It also introduced Checkout with Crypto in March. That service enables PayPal Wallet holders of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to use that currency at checkout, and PayPal will automatically convert the payment to U.S. dollars with no additional integrations or fees for businesses. Transactions in other currencies will be settled based on PayPal conversion rates, the company said.

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight, managing editor, Modern Shipper

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at bstraight@freightwaves.com.

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