Groupon Acquisitions: Following last week’s purchase of Blink, a Spain-based last minute hotel booking app, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) announced the purchase of SideTour on Wednesday. With these acquisitions, Groupon is moving further away from its traditional realm of offering coupons for daily deals. The terms of both deals remain undisclosed.
The online marketplace Sidetour is designed to help plan, host, and discover tours and events in New York City, Philadelphia, D.C., and Chicago. The events consist of intimate gatherings of around 12 attendees, and cover such interests as food, drinks, architecture, and art, while chefs, artists, casting directors, and sommeliers serve as hosts for the events. The online marketplace has a growing platform of over 500 events with more than 400 hosts. Qualified experts are in charge of helping customers connect with these events, discovering new things about the city they live in.
As stated by GrouponLive General Manager Greg Rudin in a press release, “By offering these highly personalized activities, tours and memorable things to do through Groupon, we can deliver even more fun ways for our customers to explore and discover the best local experiences”.
For now, SideTour will remain a separate entity. Groupon will be responsible for the distribution of events amongst its 43 million active customers through email, web, and mobile channels. According to SideTour, CEO Vipin Goyal, “Groupon will extend our ability to find compelling and unique local experts and give them a platform to reach even more customers”. He added that, “We’re thrilled with the opportunity to showcase our fantastic events to a huge audience with a demonstrated appetite for great local experiences”.
The purchase of SideTour forms part of Groupon’s strategy to increase their product offerings, in order to reach a wider customer base. Working towards this objective, the firm has expanded into the mobile services and has been selling products directly. One of the latest Groupon acquisitions is another step in this direction, moving away from the original business model, which consisted of offering coupons for discounts at local commerce businesses.
Disclosure: Pablo Erbar holds no position in any stocks mentioned