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Punchd, a loyalty service on mobile phones, was acquired by Google last week for a speculated US$10 million. The start-up is expected to beef up Google Wallet, the search engine's mobile commerce offering.

For businesses, Punchd allows them to acquire information about customers. Users are alerted by email when a loyalty reward is available.

The service was created in 2010 by a group of final year students at Cal Poly, while working on a senior project in an Android Development class.

Ironically the class was only offered because Google had donated a bunch of Android phones to Cal Poly’s Computer Science department. “We built a senior project, and later a business, around our idea. And while our team of entrepreneurs has stayed small, our ideas have not,” Punchd said in a blog post.

The Punchd team of six is expected to move to Google's Mountain View offices, down the street from current digs. ®

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