PayPal Picks up Jetlore, Targets the AI Prediction Market
Maybe it has nothing to do with the still potentially upcoming loss of eBay at all, but PayPal remains on an absolute tear of innovation lately. It’s been building new partnerships all over, and now, one more such arrangement has been announced as PayPal recently revealed it picked up the predictive artificial intelligence (AI) system Jetlore.
Jetlore, a system currently used by a surprisingly large number of retailers worldwide, was originally designed by PhD students at Stanford University’s computer science program. Designed as a way to bring machine learning concepts to retail, the Jetlore system contributes to the growth of highly personalized customer experiences, which are an increasingly desirable facet of the modern retail landscape.
A PayPal blog post offered further insight into the deal, saying “With Jetlore’s talent and AI-powered technology, we will enhance and accelerate PayPal Marketing Solutions, adding new capabilities that continue to expand PayPal’s value proposition for merchants beyond the online checkout experience. We share Jetlore’s passion for creating amazing—and personalized—customer experiences and believe their capabilities will accelerate our ability to help merchants optimize content and communication for their customers.”
PayPal’s acquisition streak has been on full display the last few months, as it picked up iZettle just a couple weeks ago. At the time, I thought these largely survival measures, PayPal’s attempts to build fresh revenue streams that didn’t depend on America’s great garage sale. Then, after seeing the range of possibilities involved here—not to mention eBay reconsidering the whole “we don’t take PayPal anymore” thing—it became clear that PayPal wasn’t just trying to insulate its bottom line from eBay losses, but rather, genuinely trying to branch out and make its mobile payments system even better. Whether it’s out to improve the customer experience, make its services available with more businesses, or just try to be more useful, PayPal is eager to go beyond eBay. Sure, it would probably like to keep that business, but whether or not it’s still in eBay’s repertoire, it’s out to make a name purely for itself.
Only time will tell how this all works out, but it’s a safe bet that, no matter what happens in the next few years, PayPal will probably not be one of the casualties of a changing industry.p