Causeon debuts today with a slight twist on the Groupon clone model. Similar in concept to LivingSocial Charities and Groupon’s The Point, not only does the Portland-based company offer up daily deals, but it contributes 20% of its revenue from those deals to a charitable cause.
CEO Craig Barnes explains the pivotal charity element, “We see traditional group buying as a win-win proposition, for the customers and businesses. CauseOn becomes more of a win-win-win.”
What sets CauseOn apart from Groupon (other than the CamelCase) is that it allows customers who have signed up for daily deals to contribute 20% of their purchase to the cause of their choice, harnessing the massive group buying trend in order to contribute to worthy charities.
Consumers who are brought onto the site on through recommendation of friends are also automatically signed up to contribute to the enlister’s favorite cause.
“Our cause partners are critical to our expansion plans as well. Cause “ambassadors” working with causes in a number of different cities are laying the groundwork for our entry to different markets,” says Barnes.
CauseOn rolls out today in Portland with five different cause partners; Komen For The Cure, The Dougy Center, Girls Inc, Oregon League of Conservation, Oregon Robotics Tournament and Techstart and hopes to recruit other deserving candidates.
People can currently sign up on the Portland CauseOn for the site’s very first deal. Forthcoming initial daily deals will include yoga classes, bakery goods, tanning, and other lifestyle accoutrements.
Privately funded, CauseOn is planning on hiring between 100-130 new employees in the next year and hopes to expand its presence to over 45 US cities, setting its sights on New York City, Seattle, Denver, Orange County, and Los Angeles.