Google continues buying binge with Jambool

Posted by Mark Raby

Not even a week after acquiring social gaming company Slide.com, Google has reportedly made a deal to purchase Jambool, a largely unknown startup focused on the niche market of virtual currency.

Tech Crunch reports that Google has offered to pay between $70 million and $75 million to take control of the company, which has a currency platform known as Social Gold.

Similar to Facebook Credits, Social Gold lets social game developers add monetization options to their games, asking users to pay with virtual points or currency to buy various in-game features. Jambool handles all the back-end stuff so the developers don't need to worry about credit card authorization or security. In return, Jambool takes around 7% of the revenue.

The most popular game that currently uses Jambool is Mafia Wars, and its entire portfolio spands to just a handful of titles. However Jambool is gaining traction over Facebook's proprietary in-game currency option, Facebook Credits, especially because Facebook charges a 30% fee for anyone using its monetization platform.

It is the online giant's fourth acquisition in the last month alone. The Jambool purchase, combined with the very recent takeover of Slide.com, add mountainous evidence to the notion that Google is preparing to step into the social gaming market, which is by far the fastest growing segment of the video game industry.

Google has almost no experience the multi-billion dollar video game market but if it can tap into it in some way, the company has the potential to explode into even bigger territory. Done incorrectly, though, and it could be one of the biggest mistakes in Google's storied legacy. The company has already had struggles with the world of social media, and is frustratingly battling against Facebook for Internet dominance.

Jambool's website has not made any announcements about a potential Google buyout, nor has Google released a statement or responded to questions about the supposed deal.