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Wall Street Journal

PayPal Is Planning an Ad Business Using Data on Its Millions of Shoppers

Payments Company Hires Uber’s Former Head of Advertising to Run a New Ad Division

PayPal hopes to boost its growth by starting an ad network juiced with something it already owns: data on its millions of users. The digital payments company plans to build an ad sales business around the reams of data it generates from tracking the purchases as well as the broader spending behaviors of millions of consumers who use its services, which include the more socially-enabled Venmo app.

PayPal has hired Mark Grether, who formerly led Uber’s advertising business, to lead the effort as senior vice president and general manager of its newly-created PayPal Ads division. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing new ad formats, overseeing sales and hiring staff to fill out the division, he said.

PayPal in January introduced Advanced Offers, its first ad product, which uses AI and the company’s data to help merchants target PayPal users with discounts and other personalized promotions.