The daily deal space continues to be as active as ever. This means, on the one hand, there’s a lot of innovation and experimentation with new models happening in the space, but, on the other, there’s also plenty of derivative technology, clones, and noise. This is largely because the barriers to entry are so low, if not non-existent; everybody and their mother seems to have a daily deals site, or is using one. Of course, this generally results in deal overload, expiration, disorganization, and a thousand other pain points.
Deal wallets, deal maps, secondary resale marketplaces, and more have popped up to address these issues. And today, another startup enters the space (in beta), called deel.io, which, simply put, wants to bring a bit of organization and simplicity to the wild and woolly deal space.
Deelio’s method of attack isn’t exactly new, as it is essentially an aggregator that lets users view deals in the local area through map and list-based UIs. Dealmap, which was scooped up by Google in August, did pretty much exactly that. 8coupons has a great dealmap, too, and so on.
Of course, deelio does have search expertise going for it. The co-founders, Sanjay Mavinkurve and Vijay Boyapati are both former Google engineers. While there is plenty of competition in deal aggregation, Mavinkurve holds that no one is really doing search well, and being former Googlers, “search is in our blood”, he says. It also happens that Mavinkurve was one of the early engineers at HarvardConnection (later known as ConnectU), which was founded by the Winklevosses and Divya Narendra in 2002. Mavikurve began the early work on HarvardConnection, but graduated in 2003 and went to work for Google. Victor Gao replaced Mavikurve in a part-time capacity, before recommending Mark Zuckerberg. The rest, as they say, is history.
While deelio’s “Deal Search Engine” already offers deal search for some dozen cities, it still has a ways to go in terms of volume of deals. But the site is still in beta, and that will come. The real value proposition, aside from the easy-to-use search function is the design. Both the deal map and the list interface are very clean, are quick to respond and load, and offer the ability to view Yelp reviews in search listings, which is a nifty little feature.
With plenty of options in terms of deal aggregators, offering a great product experience an appealing visual layout can make all the difference to user acquisition and retention. Many daily deal users complain about receiving deals or only being able to find deals that really have no relevance to the things they enjoy. Especially for guys who aren’t necessarily looking for $50 off spa treatments, offering the ability to find what they’re looking for without signing up for multiple deal sites is key.
In addition, deelio incorporates vacation and escape packages, a vertical that is becoming increasingly popular on daily deal sites through its so-called “deelio Vacations”, which map out discounts at hotels around the world so that users can see if there are deals being offered in their target destination. The team is also currently working on a number of other enhancements to the site’s usability, including features like personalized email digest, additional categorization, and advanced search criteria.
In the crazy free-for-all that is the daily deals space, deelio’s clean design and navigable deal map and search engine are definitely welcome additions. Check deelio out at home here and let us know what you think.
Update: As of November 11th, deelio has officially changed its name to “The Dealmix”.