Yesterday a piece by The National Business Review reported the touchdown of (another) major daily deals site, Groupon, in our market. New Zealand in the last few months has been saturated by deals, deals, deals, to the point where I actually unsubscribed from some of the services. Yes I may have missed out on deals but I’d rather stay sane than cheap.
To New Zealanders who don’t know who Groupon are, they’re currently ranked by Forbes as the fastest rising web company in the world. Ever.
How fast? Fast enough to have Google gagging to acquire them late last year for a reported 6 billion dollars and still have Andrew Mason, Groupon’s 29-year-old founder, turn them down.
This group-coupon site (see what they did there?) has a worldwide database of 50 million people and growing. It operates in a similar way to other deals sites like Yazoom, GrabOne, Treat Me, Spreets, Groupy with one key difference: The discounts up for grabs from restaurants, lawyers and even real estate properties are dependent on two things, acting before the offer-expiry time and wrangling the required number of buyers to make the offer valid within that time-limit. This genius feature means the offer only exists if you can get the required number of people to buy the deal within the allotted time – it’s a built in advertising incentive.
Aside from this model, what Groupon brings to the market is money, more money than all the other deals websites in New Zealand put together. And if things keep going to plan for the fresh-faced Mason and co, we could see Groupon make their debut with a reported $15 billion dollar IPO when they go public soon.
However, It’s not all rosy for the chicago based company who in the last few months have been battling class action suits ranging from their deal terms to selling an alcohol coupon on the site – an activity deemed illegal in certain states of the US.
Groupon’s arrival to New Zealand has the potential to save us from the multitude of deal sites by acquiring them and creating one ecosystem of Groupon powered sites, or by buying up the less-popular deals sites and giving GrabOne, Groupy and Treat me a run for their money. Let the arm wrestle begin![Hat Tip to NBR for reporting the story first]