Desperate Acquisitions by Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)?
The last fortnight was an interesting one for Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN). Last week, the company acquired SideTour. This is an online marketplace via which people can post events of their own and book places for bespoke activities. Just a week prior to that, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) had acquired Blink, the hotel booking service.
The different business
SideTour will continue operating as an independent entity for a short period of time. In the meantime its activity listings will begin getting distributed through Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s mobile, email and web channels. Vipin Goyal, the SideTour Chief Executive Officer and the rest of the team will operate out of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s New York offices and will report in to the GrouponLive GM, Greg Rudin. GrouponLive is the joint-venture between the company and Live Nation. The latter had started its business in 2011 with event ticket deals.
In a statement, Rudin said that now that SideTour’s local experiences have been added to Groupon, it expands their vision for the site that wants to be the one-stop-shop for customers to find anything at anytime and anywhere. The value of the deal has not been revealed by Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN).
The new trend
SideTour has established itself as a platform that people use to locate special, small-sized events. Activities such as wine-tasting, meals and cocktail-making tutorials are some of the events that are showcased on this platform. From Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s point of view, it helps the company in that it can move away from the” at-cost” discount offers that it generally has, attract and convert users to these new premium offers and increase its margins in the bargain.
Other deal sites are also veering in this direction. It was just a couple of days ago that LivingSocial announced a slew of new services that move away from its traditional “daily deals” and have extended offers for various services and goods.