Honey built a $4 Billion Company From a Browser Extension


Clipping coupons is no way to amass a modern mega-fortune, but two Los Angeles men who reinvented the practice for the internet age have just reaped about $1.5 billion.

That’s the estimated pretax haul for Honey Science Corp. co-founders George Ruan, 40, and Ryan Hudson, 39, following the $4 billion sale of their firm to PayPal Holdings Inc., according to EquityZen, a marketplace for shares of closely held companies. Ruan, the chief executive officer, and Hudson received roughly $900 million and $575 million, respectively.

Honey is largely used by consumers as a browser extension that automatically applies coupons at e-commerce sites. PayPal has said it plans to use those capabilities to give its customers a better shopping experience and help merchants boost sales, partly with more timely and personalized offers.

The duo join an ever-growing roster of U.S. fintech tycoons. Plaid Inc. co-founders Zach Perret and William Hockey announced the sale of their company to payments giant Visa Inc. for $5.3 billion on Jan. 13, while Robinhood Markets Inc. co-founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt became billionaires in 2018 as the valuation of their electronic stock brokerage soared.

The cash acquisition of Los Angeles-based Honey — announced in November and completed this month — was PayPal’s largest-ever acquisition. The deal gives it access to valuable data on consumer buying habits.

Ruan and Hudson, who founded Honey in 2012, will continue to run the business, according to a Nov. 20 statement. About 17 million people use Honey apps or web browser extensions monthly to find discounts at online shopping sites.

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