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Dropbox buys mobile-app maker Endorse

It's not clear whether Dropbox acquired Endorse for its talent or for its couponlike service (which, given Dropbox's cloud-storage focus, perhaps seems unlikely).

Dropbox has acquired Endorse, maker of a mobile app that offered cash-back deals to shoppers when they bought products from particular brands. Financial details of the buyout were not disclosed.

Endorse shut down on June 19, telling its users that they had until the end of that month to redeem whatever points balances they had in their accounts and move their "Endorse cash" to their bank accounts.

Founded in 2010, Endorse had raised $4.25 million from SV Angel and Accel Partners and had partnered with brands like Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, and Pepsico, which were interested not only in providing incentives to potential customers but also in gaining information on customers' shopping habits. At the time of the funding, TechCrunch described Endorse's approach and noted that users sent photos of their receipts to Endorse to collect their cash -- "with each product [shoppers had purchased] listed line-item by line-item."

It's not clear whether Dropbox acquired Endorse for the product (which given Dropbox's cloud-storage focus perhaps seems unlikely) or for the people that built and maintained the cash-back app. In a statement sent to CNET on Saturday, a Dropbox representative would say only that "Dropbox has acquired Endorse, and we're excited to have their top-notch talent join the Dropbox team."

Endorse, for its part, said in a blog post Saturday that:

Just as important as what we've been working on, we've been similarly passionate about the how - and we purposefully built a team and company culture that values intellectual curiosity, risk-taking, teamwork, and customer service.

We have known and long-admired the Dropbox team for years. Dropbox has that rare combination of talent, teamwork, and vision. We are joining an incredible team with ambitious goals and lots of difficult and exciting technical and business challenges ahead, and we could not be more pleased to have the opportunity be a part of the journey.

The Endorse team included CEO Steven Carpenter, who had previously sold a consumer-focused financial-services site to E*Trade; CTO Erik Klein, formerly of PayPal and YouTube; and Lead Engineer Franck Chastagnol, who had worked at Inktomi, PayPal, YouTube, and Google.

In March, Dropbox scooped up e-mail app Mailbox, and in December, it bought Audiogalaxy, a streaming-music service.