PayPal Honey

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PayPal Honey
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryCashback website, online coupons
FoundedOctober 2012 (2012-10)
FoundersGeorge Ruan[1]
Ryan Hudson[1]
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, United States[2]
Area served
Canada, United States
Key people
George Ruan
Ryan Hudson
Number of employees
209 (worldwide, 2018)

PayPal Honey, formerly known as Honey, is an American technology company and a subsidiary of PayPal known for developing a browser extension that aggregates and automatically applies online coupons on eCommerce websites.


Entrepreneurs Ryan Hudson and George Ruan founded Honey[1] in November 2012 in Los Angeles, California, after building a prototype of the browser extension in late October 2012. A bug tester leaked the tool to Reddit, where it went viral.[3] By March 2014, the company had 900,000 organic users.[4]

Honey raised a $26 million Series C round, led by Anthos Capital in March 2017.[5] By January 2018, Honey raised a total of $40.8 million in venture backing.[6]

On January 6, 2020, it was acquired by PayPal for about $4 billion.[7][8][9] Nearly immediately after PayPal acquired Honey, Amazon claimed to its users that the extension was a security risk that sold personal information. A Wired magazine article, written shortly after the acquisition, questioned whether the claim was motivated by PayPal's newly acquired ability to compete against Amazon.[10]

In June 2022, the company was renamed PayPal Honey.[11]


PayPal Honey has become known for its heavy use of YouTube advertising and channel sponsorships for its marketing. Similarly to NordVPN, Amazon's Audible and Raid: Shadow Legends, it offers paid sponsorships to popular YouTube channels to advertise the service to its viewers.[12]

In 2019, the company became a shirt sponsor of the NBA team, Los Angeles Clippers.[13]

In 2020, PayPal Honey launched a web series called "Honey Originals", where Honey partners were interviewed, including segments "20 Questions with _" and "Add To Cart with _".[14][15]


PayPal Honey's revenue comes from a commission made on user transactions with partner retailers.[16] When a member makes a purchase from merchants partnering with the company, Honey shares part of their commission with the member in a cashback program.[17] Users are notified of price drops and price history on selected items sold by participating online stores.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d Metcalf, Tom; Verhage, Julie (January 28, 2020). "Coupon Duo Now Worth $1.5 Billion After Honey's Sale to PayPal". BloombergQuint. Archived from the original on December 9, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  2. ^ Vincent, Roger (August 1, 2018). "Online coupon firm Honey taking over historic Coca-Cola plant in Arts District". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Shontell, Alyson (January 16, 2013). "New Coupon Startup 'Honey' Has Had 9 Successful Investor Meetings in a Row". Business Insider. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  4. ^ Perez, Sarah (March 25, 2014). "Honey Introduces a Universal Cart for Online Shoppers Where Savings Are Automatically Applied". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Pierson, David (October 24, 2017). "L.A. Tech: Can't find a coupon code? This L.A. start-up does all the work for you". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  6. ^ Ketchum, Dan (April 11, 2019). "Got a Problem? Turn it into a Business Like These 15 Companies". GOBankingRates. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  7. ^ "PayPal Completes Acquisition of Honey" (Press release). PR Newswire. January 6, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  8. ^ Taulli, Tom (November 23, 2019). "Why PayPal Paid $4 Billion for Honey Science". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  9. ^ Peters, Jay (November 20, 2019). "PayPal acquires the company behind the Honey deal-finding extension for $4 billion". The Verge. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Lee, Dami (January 9, 2020). "Amazon suspiciously says browser extension Honey is a security risk, now that PayPal owns it". The Verge. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  11. ^ "What is PayPal Honey?". PayPal Honey. June 29, 2022. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  12. ^ Weiss, Geoff (November 21, 2019). "Browser Extension 'Honey', a Frequent Shane Dawson and MrBeast Sponsor, Acquired for $4 Billion". Tubefilter. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  13. ^ "What is 'Honey' on the Clippers' uniforms? Explaining LA's jersey sponsorship patch". April 18, 2023. Retrieved April 20, 2023.
  14. ^ 20 Questions with MrBeast | Honey Originals. Honey. July 1, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2022 – via YouTube. Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Add to Cart with Gibi ASMR | Honey Originals. Honey. March 21, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2022 – via YouTube. Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Rey, Jason Del (April 2, 2018). "Honey — the under-the-radar coupon startup — has held talks to raise around $100 million in a new investment". Recode. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  17. ^ Kane, Libby (November 17, 2017). "A struggling dad built an app to buy his kids cheaper pizza — and now his company has 5 million downloads and $40 million". Business Insider. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Ellingson, Annlee (January 31, 2018). "How Honey helps users keep their New Year's resolution to save money". American City Business Journals. Retrieved September 26, 2022.

See also[edit]