Mountain View, California -- Relentlessly striving to expand the kind of information available to its valued online shoppers via its Trusted Stores program, search engine colossus Google has just beefed up its online retailing smarts by acquiring KikScore, a US company that ascribes scores to e-commerce businesses based on their level of reputation and trustworthiness.
According to a post on KikScores site on June 1, the standalone service sharing news noted that “the KikScore technology and certain assets” had been bought by Google and its service would be shut down on June 28, presumably so it can eventually be incorporated into Google Trusted Stores.
Explaining the details, the company noted, “There is still huge work needs to be done for small businesses and that is why we are so thrilled that an industry mogul will be able to build off of the technology, platform and IP that we spent our blood, sweat and tears building, developing and launching,” wrote Rajeev Malik, KikScore co-founder.
Under the terms of the deal Google bought KikScore's service, platform, technology and other assets but will not be taking on staff or management. More so, the patent-pending online reputation firm has over 1,700 small business customers that Google inherits. It is understood that KikScore's platform will be integrated into the Google Trusted Store product within the Google Checkout/Google Wallet department.
While Google Trusted Stores monitors product shipping times and customer service issues, and provides $1000 in purchase protection, the 4-year-old KikScore, on the other hand, utilizes its patent-pending scoring algorithm to provide businesses with a Trust Score that is derived from a company's credit worthiness, criminal record, website traffic, business practices, consumer feedback and online security:
As Google also provides a free purchase protection service that helps consumers resolve billing, shipping or return problems. Besides, the search engine giant not only acquires KikScore's underlying technology but it also gains control of its all-important patents.
In fact, now with KikScore under its umbrella, shoppers click an icon on the bottom of the page to discover who is behind the business, about the management, about the website's history, and about customer feedback.
The company culls data from third parties, from the merchant, and via consumer surveys, merging them all for an aggregate KikScore that is dynamically updated. KikScore has offered this service for $14.99 a month.
Currently, KikScore is now recommending its customers sign up with Google's Trusted Store service, even though the two services are slightly different in their nature.
KikScore was jointly established by CEO Rajeev Malik after discovering the high levels of unfulfilled orders lying in abandoned shopping carts on his wife's online store. Following research they found many abandoned purchases were due to customer's lack of trust in the merchant. The company's other co-founders are Travis Valentine CTO, Mike Collins Head of Product, Mike Mauseth Board of Advisors member, and Tom Lewis another Board Of Advisors member.
The company began its operation in a Fuddruckers restaurant in 2008, today it is part of Google.
KikScore co-founder Raj Malik mentioned in the acquisition disclosure that he will not join Google, instead he has “another startup impending this summer,” confirming that Google really is after the company's technology and intellectual property, not its talent.