Lemon Inc. has made several significant updates within its mobile wallet this year, moving the storage app to an actual payments-facilitating product. But to scale, Lemon needed a partner with brand recognition, which it found in LifeLock Inc.
The identity theft protection provider LifeLock acquired Lemon on Dec. 11 for approximately $42.6 million in cash.
"With Lemon Wallet, it took us two years to find a product that works very well and consumers love," says Wences Casares, founder and former CEO of Lemon. "We were ready to scale and to be able to do that we needed a partner that can have that kind of brand recognition nationally."
Casares is now LifeLock's general manager of mobile.
Lemon Wallet started out as an app allowing consumers to digitize their cards and track spending on their mobile device, and was more about peace of mind than payments. In November 2012, the company partnered with BillGuard, a provider of a transaction monitoring service, giving users the ability to track purchases for up to three cards for free.
In June the company announced it would roll out a payment capability. By July, Lemon launched Lemon Network, which allows merchant apps to access payment cards that have been enrolled in the Lemon Wallet.
Lemon's products are being renamed to conform with LifeLock's branding, says Casares. He and the rest of Lemon's staff will continue their employment under LifeLock, he says.
The payments network "is an important part of the acquisition," Casares says. "Right now the Lemon Network is focused on helping merchants on the handling of payment credentials."
Casares would not disclose the number of merchants using Lemon Network, but says the number is still small.
"The acquisition allows us to accelerate our product roadmap, add additional functionality and data to our platform, expand our market opportunity, better serve our members and develop a more meaningful relationship with a broad set of consumers," says Hilary Schneider, president of LifeLock.