Breaking: Groupon acquires German clone CityDeal

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We have just learned that German Groupon clone CityDeal has been acquired by the world’s original and leading collective coupon buying platform Groupon.

CityDeal, which was invested in by Rocket Internet, the incubator of the Samwer brothers, has raised around 20 million Euros and was heavily competing with their counterpart DailyDeal – another german Groupon clone backed by various internet celebrities such as Stefan Glänzer (Last.fm) and Michael Brehm (Studi.vz).

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, yet since CityDeal has only been active for around six months the trade-sale must have been worth it for it’s investors and shareholders. CityDeal is currently active in 80 cities, 16 countries and employs around 600 people around Europe. Within the next months CityDeal is going to pull on Groupon’s skin for their various country specific sites – including its name.

UPDATE According to sources close to the deal the transaction sum has been a “3-digit-million figure”. There is no indication of the exact sum, but given Groupon’s current amount of cash in the bank and the fact that CityDeal has “only” been active for some months, one can assume that it’s somewhere around $100 million, which is still a hefty pricetag.

Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason officially commented on why they’ve chosen CityDeal over the other European Clones:

We knew that bringing Groupon to Europe wouldn’t be easy. Just adapting Groupon to suit the differences between Miami and Philadelphia is enough of a challenge that we knew we wouldn’t be able to succeed in Europe without amazing entrepreneurs with an intimate understanding of the local cultures.

With that in mind, we started meeting with the horde of European Groupon clones, looking for a team that would do Groupon justice in Europe. Unfortunately, we found them to be very much like the American knockoffs – without the strategic vision or operational chops to do much more than watch us and play Simon Says.

When we met Oliver Samwer – one of the founders of Citydeal – we were prepared for more of the same. Oliver and his two brothers are known for elevating the practice of cloning American business models in Europe into an art form, having successfully founded the German versions of eBay (eBay eventually bought them), Facebook, eHarmony, Zappos, and many more.

But after a few days with Oliver and the rest of the Citydeal management team, we realized that they were among the best operators we’d ever met. It was no wonder they’d become #1 in every one of their countries – in only five months, they’d even become larger than the largest Groupon knockoff in the U.S. It’s absolutely insane how quickly they’ve scaled, with 600 employees working from 80+ European cities, and already saving their customers over $5 million in April alone – their fourth month of operation.

Culturally, we saw the same qualities in the Citydeal team that we have at Groupon. Hardworking and scrappy, blindingly fast executors, refreshingly blunt, no appetite for petty politics, and passionate about pioneering a new model of commerce while wowing every last consumer and merchant they touched.

For those reasons, we think Groupon and Citydeal are a great match.

See also TechCrunch.com’s story.

  • http://www.spirofrog.de/blog Thomas

    Chapeau, great deal within 7 months. But I am sure that there is soon ‘a deal with facebook :-)
    Groupon as an ecommerce solution for facebook?!

  • http://www.claas-schaefer.de Claas

    Only 7 months? Graat job guys :)

  • http://Www.madebymany.co.uk Ian Shipman

    Citydeal is a shockingly bad company that forced merchants to sign illegal exclusive contracts and with terrible customer service. Am really suprised Groupon paid anything for this ‘house of cards’.

    • http://twitter.com/mikebutcher Mike Butcher

      How could the contracts be illegal? No lawyers involved? Come on…

      • Andy

        not enforceable

  • http://www.naanoo.com/live/groupon-ubernimmt-citydeal Anonymous

    […] […]

  • sceptic

    groupon isn’t going to be happy with that acquisition… even without knowing the deal’s details, they chose the worst one they could get

  • http://liftedlogic.com/site/?p=310 Groupon Invades Europe With Acquisition Of Citydeal

    […] More at TechCrunch EU. CrunchBase Information Groupon Information provided by CrunchBase CrunchBase Information Citydeal.de Information provided by CrunchBase […]

  • http://www.agriya.com sathe

    Groupon has taken the Internet world by storm since its launch in 2008.

    The concept is very simple, each day all the subscribers are emailed a single fantastic deal.
    http://www.agriya.com/groupon-clone

    people enjoy it

    Groupon Clone

  • http://www.finanz-lexikon.de Banker

    I belive that only the “groupon”s make money with this business. The customers of the discounted offers never will pay later the full price in this shop. They will go to the next shop which offers a discount…

  • http://wolpers.posterous.com/ Stefan Wolpers

    Business-wise, it was the right decision by Groupon CEO Andrew Mason to buy the German clone CityDeal. In a market where fast eats slow, where large eats small, CityDeal can indeed be the nucleus of Groupon Europe.

    And at the same time effects on genuine German start-ups in their efforts to raise early-stage funding will be devastating.

    From now on, an even larger share of the scarce early-stage funding will be allocated to cloning US business models: they’re less risky and provide a good exit opportunity if executed in the right way. Looks, that we might become the high-end in the clone business. And that’s a tiny niche we should not excel in.

    Read more here:

    http://wolpers.posterous.com/why-the-groupon-acquisition-of-its-clone-city

  • http://recolector.de/tecnologia/2010/05/17/citydeal-comprada-por-groupon/ sobre tecnologia » Blog Archive » CityDeal comprada por Groupon

    […] noticia saltó anoche anticipada por TC: Groupon compra Citydeal y de esta forma desembarca en Europa, incluida España. La adquisición va […]

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/05/17/is-groupon-buying-citydeal-actually-a-disaster-for-german-innovators/ Is Groupon buying CityDeal actually a disaster for German innovators?

    […] Groupon acquisition of CityDeal is being hailed by many across Europe as a good exit for the German-based clone (yes, there is no […]

  • http://juegando.com/uncategorized/is-groupon%e2%80%99s-citydeal-acquisition-a-disaster-for-german-innovators/ Is Groupon’s CityDeal Acquisition A Disaster For German Innovators? | Juegando

    […] For German Innovators? On May 17, 2010, In Uncategorized, By juegando Share The Groupon acquisition of CityDeal is being hailed by many across Europe as a good exit for the German-based clone (yes, there is no […]

  • http://vmmo.org/internet/is-groupon%e2%80%99s-citydeal-acquisition-a-disaster-for-german-innovators/ Is Groupon’s CityDeal Acquisition A Disaster For German Innovators? | Đại gia - daigia.vmmo.net

    […] to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entryThe Groupon acquisition of CityDeal is being hailed by many across Europe as a good exit for the German-based clone (yes, there is no […]

  • http://www.compuc.com/technology-news/is-groupon%e2%80%99s-citydeal-acquisition-a-disaster-for-german-innovators/ Is Groupon’s CityDeal Acquisition A Disaster For German Innovators? | Technology News Videos And Resources

    […] Groupon acquisition of CityDeal is being hailed by many across Europe as a good exit for the German-based clone (yes, there is no […]

  • http://www.techsynd.com/2010/05/17/is-groupon%e2%80%99s-citydeal-acquisition-a-disaster-for-german-innovators/ Is Groupon’s CityDeal Acquisition A Disaster For German Innovators? | TechSYND

    […] Groupon acquisition of CityDeal is being hailed by many across Europe as a good exit for the German-based clone (yes, there is no […]

  • http://ccna.com.ru/2010/05/17/groupon-invades-europe-with-acquisition-of-citydeal/ Groupon Invades Europe With Acquisition Of Citydeal » technology

    […] More at TechCrunch EU. CrunchBase Information Groupon Information provided by CrunchBase CrunchBase Information Citydeal.de Information provided by CrunchBase […]

  • Chris

    the german copycat of facebook was not adapted by samwers. if you mean studiVZ: samwers invested lately in june 2006 into studivz. minor investment. nothing more. please, don’t mix up investments and self-founded or incubated companies.

  • Chris

    prior to the investment samwers had failed in their own attempt to establish a myspace clone in germany….

  • Chriss

    prior to the investment samwers had failed in their own attempt to establish a myspace clone in germany….

  • sChris

    prior to the investment samwers had failed in their own attempt to establish a myspace clone in germany….

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/05/20/after-cashing-in-on-citydeal-samwer-brothers-invest-in-online-gaming-world-panfu/ After cashing in on Citydeal, Samwer brothers invest in online gaming world Panfu

    […] Samwer brothers are at it again. Shortly after cashing in on Citydeal, Germany’s most prolific startup investors have put millions into Panfu. Their incubator […]

  • http://juegando.com/uncategorized/after-selling-citydeal-to-groupon-samwer-brothers-get-some-panfu/ After Selling Citydeal To Groupon, Samwer Brothers Get Some Panfu | Juegando

    […] In Uncategorized, By juegando Share The Samwer brothers are at it again. Shortly after cashing in on Citydeal, Germany’s most prolific startup investors have put millions into Panfu. Their incubator […]

  • http://vmmo.org/internet/after-selling-citydeal-to-groupon-samwer-brothers-get-some-panfu/ After Selling Citydeal To Groupon, Samwer Brothers Get Some Panfu | Magazine

    […] can leave a response or trackback to this entryThe Samwer brothers are at it again. Shortly after cashing in on Citydeal, Germany’s most prolific startup investors have put millions into Panfu. Their incubator […]

  • http://vc-list.com/?p=4552 After Selling Citydeal To Groupon, Samwer Brothers Get Some Panfu | Venture Capital & Angel Investors Lists News and Jobs

    […] Samwer brothers are at it again. Shortly after cashing in on Citydeal, Germany’s most prolific startup investors have put millions into Panfu. Their incubator […]

  • http://coubray.com/2010/05/22/groupon-achete-citydeal-l%e2%80%99eloge-du-retard-de-la-copie-des-serial-entrepreneurs-des-americains-et-du-multicanal/ Groupon achète CityDeal : l’éloge du retard, de la copie, des serial entrepreneurs, des américains et du multicanal « Coubray.com : Autour de la relation directe au client et parfois ailleurs…

    […] les frontières sont vite franchies. CityDeal complète parfaitement l’offre de Groupon (voir interview de son CEO Andrew Mason). A terme les marques changeront. Les équipes vont fusionner. Les pays vont s’ajouter. Mais […]

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