[Spain] In Spain we’re struggling to recover from the recession. We’re behind our European neighbors and our unemployment rate is now 18%. A recovery is apparently coming, but in the meantime, people shuffle along, cashing unemployment checks, desperately looking for work and figuring out how to save here and there. A number of initiatives are mushrooming to help us do this. Television programs, individual blogs, comparison shopping sites, you name it. Yunait, an idea born to Pablo Elosúa and Santiago Perez, isn’t something you’d call innovative or a breakthrough. They haven’t received seed funding (yet) and don’t have major news to tell. But their idea is simple and well timed. In fact, they’re getting quite a bit of press coverage in Spain.
It’s been ages now that we’ve had coupon and cash back sites, discount directories, and price comparison engines. Nothing new about that. Elosua and Perez wanted to take those to a different level, taking advantage of today’s online social playground. When we find something juicy (be it news or an offer) we’re intrinsically inclined to want to pass it. We are proud social animals. Look at everything we’re sharing on our countless social network profile updates, restaurant, hotel and business reviews.
Unlike the basic coupon sites, the Spanish Yunait gives power to the people to make intelligent shopping decisions, letting users upload deals they discover, evaluate and share them. In other words, a vertical social network for saving money and discovering offers. “The moment of the crisis gave us an opportunity to launch Yunait, but we didn’t launch for the crisis, but rather to provide a space for people who believe in intelligent shopping” says Elosua.
Launched just a month ago on their own personal funding, Yunait already boasts 10,500 entries, with a small, but growing user base and hopes to reach content aggregation and distribution agreements. On the development side, the small team is working on solutions that will allow users to better inform of fraudulent or misleading advertisements and deals, to enhance their interaction experience, and to easily discover the deals they’re looking for. More exciting however, though still distant, is a mobile version. Hypothetically, Yunait should eventually become much more useful via mobile than otherwise. Nothing like consulting offers on the go. They’re planning on launching a mobile web in April and hope for an official iPhone App in June, with Android to follow.
It’s a simple, no bells and whistles idea, but it plays very well on our nature to share, if not to help, then to boast.