PayPal Buys Iron Pearl

PayPal has acquired Iron Pearl, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup focused on tools for customer acquisition and engagement. The company’s founders – Stan Chudnovsky and James Currier – will stick with the new company. Chudnovsky will assume the role of VP of Growth, and Currier will serve as “Growth Advisor.”


At PayPal, we’re seeing rapid and exciting growth. More than 5 million people joined PayPal in the last three months of 2012—the most in a quarter in over 8 years. We now serve more than 123 million active PayPal customers around the world.

But we can do more. And grow faster. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that we just acquired Iron Pearl, a Palo Alto startup that is at the forefront of the science of customer acquisition and engagement. Iron Pearl has developed groundbreaking tools, methodologies and intellectual property, built on a new understanding of the social and cultural factors that drive the viral spread of products, combined with new approaches to data analysis and predictive modeling.

Iron Pearl was founded by Stan Chudnovsky and James Currier. Effective immediately, Stan is assuming the role of Vice President of Growth and James will serve as a Growth Advisor to the company.

Stan is a visionary in the emerging science of growth and he has a remarkable track record of success as an entrepreneur. James and Stan started and ran Tickle, one of the first social media companies and an early explorer of the possibilities of online viral marketing. After Tickle was acquired by Monster in 2004 for more than $100 million, they founded Wonderhill, a developer of family-friendly social online games that was acquired by Kabam in 2011. Stan was also instrumental in designing growth for companies like GoodReads, Path, BranchOut and many others.

The new Growth team at PayPal will focus on growing our customer base and engaging existing customers more actively by leveraging data to develop innovative marketing approaches and product initiatives. There are only a handful of world-renowned “Growth Hackers” with amazing track records and Stan is one of them. He managed to create genuine and sustained viral growth and retention for his own startups, and has advised others to grow at a tremendous pace, leading to hundreds of millions of unique new users. We’re confident that applying this unique, and highly effective skill set to PayPal will lead to making our groundbreaking payments experiences even more ubiquitous for our merchants and consumers.