Qype, the location-based reviews and recommendation service, is to get in on the local coupon market. This is via an acquisition of Munich-based Cooledeals.de, which the company announced today. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
The acquisition is enabling Qype, which is the largest user-generated local review site in Europe (ahead of Yelp), to add coupons and discount vouchers to its offering. This comes in the form of QypeDeals.com, initially launching in Germany but with plans to “rapidly roll-out” in other European territories through 2011.
In other words, watch out Groupon and DailyDeal and a host of other local discount providers and aggregators throughout Europe. Cooledeals already sits third in the German coupon space. Then there’s Facebook, of course, and upstarts like Foursquare. It seems that the local coupon and discounts battle has only just begun.
And in a sense, having already acquired users via check-ins, reviews and recommendations, adding coupons, presumably to be integrated into its mobile apps, feels a lot like loosening the monitization taps, though it’s interesting that this comes via an acquisition. But then, Qype has the cash to take such a short cut.
In November of last year, the company, which has offices in Hamburg, London and Paris, raised a new funding round amounting to a combined 6.5 million euros to throw fuel onto its mobile business. It seems that entering the coupon and discount space was also part of that thinking. The cash came from Vodafone Ventures and existing backers, with the former offering the ability to get Qype ‘on-deck’ as it were, via a co-branded version of Qype’s application pre-loaded on supported Vodafone devices, including Blackberry and Android on handsets in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Ireland.
So we have a large existing European userbase (17 million monthly visitors), mobile carrier distribution and now the coupon switch has been flicked. This could get interesting.