Google Buys Zave Networks, Coupon Platform Provider

Google picked up Zave Networks, a digital coupon and rewards program provider, as its latest local commerce play.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) fortified its commerce team by acquiring Zave Networks, a startup that built a point-of-sale platform for coupons and loyalty rewards, for an undisclosed sum.

The search engine confirmed the news, first reported by TechCrunch, Sept. 2 for eWEEK:

"We're thrilled to welcome the Zave Networks team to Google. They have developed an impressive platform to connect consumers with coupons, special offers and reward programs for their favorite businesses, and we look forward to their joining our Commerce team."

The Zavers platform digitizes coupons and rewards for major grocery chains across the country, as well as for IBM (NYSE:IBM) retail platforms.

Coupon and loyalty rewards have become a multi-billion-dollar market, thanks to Groupon, LivingSocial and more than 100 other providers of local deals services.

Google has built its own Offer program to match the incumbents in this burgeoning social commerce space. The company is pairing it with its Google Wallet mobile payment service later this summer.

Zave's talent will be applied to commerce-related services at Google, though how exactly it will fit in is unclear at this time.

Google has been busy boosting its local commerce service, acquiring loyalty card provider Punchd and local deals aggregator DealMap to bolster its commerce efforts.

Zave, meanwhile, is enthusiastic to join its new home at the Googleplex.

"When we had the opportunity to join Google, we felt it was the perfect fit for our company and the perfect opportunity to rapidly drive the deployment and use of our platform to the next level," Zave said on its Website.

"We're humbled by the unending support our investors, retailers, advertisers and consumers have provided over the past five years, and would like to thank each and every one of them. Going forward, we are excited about being part of Google's efforts in this space."