Groupola.com – yet another Groupon clone launches in the UK

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[UK] A new website launches in the UK today that uses “the power of group-buying to save consumers up to 90% off the best things to do, see, eat and buy.”

Sounds familiar? Yep, it’s yet another Groupon clone.

Only this time, Groupola.com is already making claims to be the biggest group buying site in the country. That’s because it’s launching simultaneously in 8 of the largest cities across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

This makes it immediately standout from rivals such as Berlin-based MyCityDeal and Groupon itself, both of which have a UK reach currently limited to London.

More noteworthy is Groupola’s founder, Mark Pearson, who has a pretty good track record of offering consumers the best deals and making money on top, having founded MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, the leading discount voucher site in the UK.

For those who aren’t familiar with the group buying model, here’s how Groupola.com works:

Each day, the site will feature a deal in each of the eight cities it is launching in. Then if enough people commit, the company offering it will honour the deal, which will be anything from 50-90% off the full price. If not enough people sign up to that particular deal, the offer is withdrawn and no money passes hands.

Examples include, savings at restaurants, spa days, beauty and hairdressing, experience days, sport and leisure activities, theatre tickets, and concerts.

Along with daily deals, Groupola also appears to have weekly offers too, with a longer window for group buyers. Virgin Balloon Flights is the current partner, offering 50% off a four hour hot-air balloon experience if more than 25 people sign-up. It will cost £149 and includes a copy of Sir Richard Branson’s ‘Losing My Virginity’ autobiography. That’s a lot of hot air for your pound.

Oh and to celebrate the launch of Groupola, the site is running a raffle to give away a number of Apple iPads to those that sign-up to its newsletter.

  • http://www.easybranches.com/8430/ The Horror – Welcome Groupola, Yet Another Groupon Clone | Easybranches.com™

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  • http://www.GrouperEye.com Ted

    These companies are popping up all over the place. I’m guessing the consumer will go to whichever company has the best deals. I still love Groupon and think their is enough room in the market for a couple of these guys.

    • http://www.meetingwave.com jb

      Agreed. Having a large number of clones is actually better for Groupon since few will be able to garner the resources to create a competitive site. Groupon has raised over $35 million making it a formidable startup, unless it blows through that $35 million quickly.

      And that doesn’t happen in the Internet world, right?

  • Jon

    looks like crapola, even the logo looks like it’s taking a crap.

  • Seth

    I just got invited to a skateboarding version of groupon called Seshday.

  • http://unitedagents.co.uk/ Adam Martin {@adammmartin}

    Groupola, Groupon are these sites named under the influence and whilst frequenting a swingers club?

    It’s a great and simple idea, I’m no balloonist but I’m sure to sign-up for a transatlantic trip via hot air and with only one book to read.

    What would be interesting to know is if Groupola just copied Groupon or whether it’s been in development for sometime.

  • Jessie Anderson

    This guy is killing it in the voucher code space. If anybody is going to make it work, I imagine he is. A great position to leverage his existing relationships too I bet.

  • http://www.fnac.com Adrien Nussenbaum

    I am still surprised with a business model where you pay loads of money to acquire customers who commit to buying a product and that you can afford to turn them down if not enough people commit to the deal…defies the laws of ROI…

    • http://www.twitter.com/mpfree mpfree

      @adrien – but look at the number of purchases required for these deals to tip – they are usually somewhere around 20-50 purchases – hardly a challenge. The tipping point is merely a marketing gimmick to get the deal going viral (retweets, status updates). I’ve been a groupon subscriber in the states for a while now, and i think i have seen one daily deal not go through.

    • http://www.syncfu.com Dejan Strbac

      Agreed. I thought of the same and imho, a deal should be made fit to the number of people that signup. I also don’t like this ‘go to website’ for a different purchasing method.

      That’s why a week ago we built http://www.syncfu.com which is a widget for any website, and drops price with each new person in the queue.

      Difficult to get on TC though, wonder why. Well, anyway, we’re building some special offers now with it. One webpage, one deal per month, no matter where the person is within the country/ies.

      Any comments are welcome.

  • Steve

    Groupola…

    Well all I can say is that name is just too close to Groupon.

    I’m sure Groupon’s lawyers will have a field day with this one!

    @Adam Martin I’m pretty sure they copied Groupon as Groupon have been live for over a year now. Plus some of the site is a bit shabby here and there.

  • sophie

    There must be about 10 of these collective buying sites in London alone.

    http://www.wowcher.com
    http://www.vouchtogether.co.uk

    I wont name them all

    Surely there cant be enough space in the market for all of them. This is getting ridiculous

  • Amanda
  • pete

    Haha I love how Techcrunch always says “Groupon clone”….there were many versions of group buying before Groupon.

    Granted Groupon got the big exposure with the 30mill investment but please don’t claim that any new service is ripping off the idea.

    I scout backcountry.coms (not a plug) deal an hour site all the time and they were operating before Groupon went big.

    To me it shows Techcrunch has a bias towards Groupon in their writing.

    • pete

      ok so just looking over groupola again – yep this is for sure a “clone” as the creative is pretty much the same.

      My statement still stands that Groupon is not the birth place of group buying….

    • Steve O'Hear

      There’s no bias. But Groupon is currently the best known and well funded, so it’s a useful and inclusive point of reference. That’s all.

      • Joseph

        And what of Paul Allen funded Mercata from back in the day?

        I have such fond memories of my ridiculously cheap 32″ CRT TV with free shipping delivered straight to my dorm room….right before they went belly-up.

      • Kojo

        what happened with mercata anyhow?

    • http://www.cheapcheapcheap.com Albert

      You do realize that one of the employees at TechCrunch is married to a Groupon VP… just to justify your “bias”

  • Stuart Walker

    Not impressed. Very amature website

    This company seems to just take whats been done and do it the same.

    They also seem to have a bad reputation among other affiliates if you do a quick google search for Mr Pearson, you will see.

  • Steve

    I’ve only just recovered from a nasty case of Groupola by using some antibiotics I got from the GUM clinic.

  • Matt

    Another one will launch in 10 days. It is http://likebees.com/.

    They added style to the whole group-buying concept. I had the opportunity to see their site because they were looking for an investment.
    Their design is a step above the other.

    I have not invested because the segment is too busy in UK. But I wish them good luck.

    And I have seen the stage two of their project. It is really innovative.

    • David

      Hey Matt,

      Care to share what the stage two of the like bees product was? :) Thanks

      Danny

      • Matt

        Danny,

        I am not allowed to say anything, sorry.
        But if you are an investor I am sure that if you contact the founders directly they will tell you more.
        The email is on their work-in-progress page.

        Good luck.

  • tom

    threw up in my mouth when I saw “groupola”. take Groupon, take out the “n” and add “la”…seriously guys, at least try to look different! #fail

  • Matt

    I tried http://www.mycitydeal.co.uk last week. They had a great Starbucks deal on. Get a 10£ voucher for 1£ only! Definitely worth checking out!

  • http://publicasity.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/each-day-the-site-will-feature-a-deal-in-eight-cities/ Each day the site will feature a deal in eight cities « Publi-chat-sity

    […] will feature a deal in eight cities Jump to Comments A new website launches in the UK today reports TechCrunch that uses “the power of group-buying to save consumers up to 90% off the best things to do, see, […]

  • Jon

    So Groupola’s site has been down for the last 7 hours…

    Looks like someone has caught up with that Mark weasel Pearson.

  • http://www.groupowa.com Jonis Atwat

    Jon, your obviously an idiot. They seem to have done their homework. Their site is soothing colours, unlike poor clone wowcher in loud abnoxious colours, they take your details on their EV SSL secured page, and don’t take you off to some third party like lamo wowcher.
    If I was to do this I’d do it right like groupola, not wrong like wowcher

    • Jess

      Its not that simple – getting an Internet merchant account for this business model is very hard. You are selling vouchers which the banks hate

  • http://www.SmartLocalShoppers.com/ Printable Coupons

    Any other copycat?

    The question is why not? If there is demand, there is business. Unless Groupon is take the marketing entirely, why give consumer a better choice?

    The biggest winner has to be the end user that enjoy the saving and the business owner that receive business. If it’s all about making Groupon rich, they won’t last long.

    Get ready for a true WIN-WIN Local shopping site that makes everyone win. SmartLocalShoppers.com

  • pete

    We license some products with Disney-Pixar and I have already heard they are getting the lawyers onto the Grouploa one eyed green monster logo as its very similar to Mike from Monster Inc, I would not fancy Google on my ass.

    • Mike

      Pete:

      “they are getting the lawyers onto the Groupola one eyed green monster logo as its very similar to Mike from Monster Inc”

      – does that means that all of these http://images.google.com/images?q=one%20eyed%20monster are breaking Disney/Pixar copyright? It is so childish to presume that use of simple word / characteristic without any other association is copyright infringement. It’s almost like saying that yahoo.com is breaking copyright of hoo.com. Get real.

      “I would not fancy Google on my ass.”

      Why would google be on Groupola’s ass? Is it the “G” at the begining of the word, does that breaches Google’s copyright? Almost the same logic as with Pixar…

      I have personally bought “Haircut, finish + some other stuff” from senior stylist in Soho for £20 deal from Groupola for my girlfriend, I think it’ great bargain. Keep them coming.

  • Emma

    Yep there hair cut was a great deal! Nearly as good as when Wowcher ran the deal for only £13

  • http://www.groupowa.com Jonis Atwat

    I would imagine that Groupola can only sell what the retailer has to offer. So I wouldn’t blame Groupola for be £7 more expensive, blame the retailer for not giving to Groupola as cheaply!

  • http://www.syncfu.com Dejan Strbac

    Now anyone may do group buying on their own website.

    http://www.syncfu.com

    Disclosure: I am one of the founders.

    • Matthew

      just a wild guess… you’re eastern european, aren’t you…?

      • http://www.syncfu.com Dejan Strbac

        Yes, South-Eastern European by origin, Italian in the heart =) Why such a question?

  • sophie

    Came across this Facebook group the other day, the official group buying Facebook group!! All the group buying deals are posted on the group buying Facebook wall

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=330497977485&ref=search&sid=100000831318208.1524859653..1

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