Groupon Acquires Local Marketing Services Startup Ludic Labs, Expands Some More

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Groupon is expanding its presence in Silicon Valley with a brand new office and the acquisition of San Mateo-based Ludic Labs, the local marketing services startup behind offerfoundry.com and diddit.com.

Offer Foundry is a self-service advertising and deals platform for local businesses. Diddit is an online community connecting “millions of users” with targeted local attractions and interests.

The Ludic Labs team includes Paul Gauthier, who was co-founder of Inktomi, and David Gourley who was CTO at Endeca. As a part of the acquisition, Dr. Brian Totty, CEO of Ludic Labs, will take on the role of head of engineering for the daily deal site, overseeing international product development and innovation.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but according to CrunchBase, Ludic Labs was operating on $5 million of venture capital, which was injected by Accel Partners and KPG Ventures. It’s worth noting Accel Partners is also a major investor in Groupon.

The operator of the popular daily deals site has raised $170 million so far.

Groupon’s brand new, 12,000 square feet Silicon Valley office is located in the California Avenue neighborhood of downtown Palo Alto and, according to the press release, previously served its “Data and Mobile” needs.

Its local staff is projected to grow from 25 people to more than 100 within the next year, and the office will expand its scope of work to collaborate with the Chicago development team on all product technology.

Groupon says it will also continue to expand its existing product team at its Chicago headquarters.

Funny quote from Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason, straight from the press release:

“Unfortunately we cannot comment on speculation or rumors about our business,” said Andrew Mason, founder and chief executive officer of Groupon, for some reason.

Groupon is of course the subject of a rumored $6 billion buy-out by Google, which is being discussed between Groupon’s board members today.

And just yesterday, Groupon announced that it has acquired three deal websites in Asia (uBuyiBuy, Beeconomic and Atlaspost) in an effort to expand its reach across East and Southeast Asia. Earlier this year, Groupon has also expanded to Europe, Latin America, Russia and Japan through acquisitions of smaller rivals.

And yesterday, the company also announced its Groupon 2.0 platform, the next phase of its core service.

How much busier can things get for the fast-growing Internet startup?

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