While the debate as to whether group buying as whole is a viable business model rages on post-Groupon S-1, there’s no doubt that these social deal things keep sprouting up — Yesterday someone introduced themselves to me as the CEO of a Groupon for moms (and yes I thought it was a good idea).
Still it makes sense that people would want a piece of the action, as the size of the market in the US is estimated at $2.7 billion in 2012 (up from $1.1 billion last year). And to give you a sense of some of the players and their relative size, the folks at Flowtown have revised their original infographic to reflect the social buying boom.
What can we tell from the above? Well first of all that space is nascent and so are its physics; First movers aren’t necessarily rewarded. Woot, which was founded in 2004, currently has over 1.4 million unique monthly visits versus dominant player Groupon’s (which was founded in 2008 and pivoted to the model) 29.1 million. Mercata, which isn’t even on the graph, was shut down in 2001.
Current second runner up LivingSocial is around half the size of Groupon, at 14.3 million unique monthly visits, with 301 US cities to Groupon’s 182. Yeah that’s about 5% of the US population visiting the site monthly; Enjoy your teeth whitening guys!