Google has acquired retail coupon firm Incentive Targeting for an undisclosed sum.
Google's Mike Dudas, a member of the team building Google's mobile commerce business, confirmed the news on Twitter.
"Google acquires Incentive Targeting to power highly targeted manufacturer and private label coupon programmes," he said.
A coupon campaign is a sales method where customers can redeem coupons to receive a discount.
Massachusetts-based Incentive Targeting was founded in 2007 by Ben Sprecher, now serving as vice president of marketing, and Joshua Herzig-Marx, now vice president of products and services. Its CEO is experienced start-up executive Win Burke.
On its website the start-up states that it "partners with retail chains to provide a targeted marketing service to manufacturers of grocery and consumer products".
In July, the firm was granted a US patent for "a computer-implemented method and system for conducting a search of electronically stored information". It filed for the patent in April 2008. The system allows marketers to view sales information, analyse trends, and use the information for forthcoming coupon campaigns.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, Boston-based publication Xconomy claims that the firm has raised a total of $4.4m (£2.7m) in funding.
In a statement on the company's website, its co-founders said: "When we founded Incentive Targeting in 2007, we set out to do for retail couponing what Google had done for online advertising: make it simple, relevant, measurable and effective. So, it is both humbling and gratifying to be joining the ranks of the company that inspired our initial vision.
"As part of Google, we will have the resources and expertise to continue the transformation of couponing from a way to give discounts to a way to build business."
By eliminating high entry costs for big data analysis, you can convert more raw data into valuable business insight.
A discussion of the "risk perception gap", its implications and how it can be closed