European startups scramble to emulate the Groupon explosion

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The Chicago-based Groupon has been valued at $280 million after closing their recent $30 million venture round with Accel Partners and previous investors. Clearly Groupon’s new take on group buying is a hot space right now.

Now in Berlin, a Groupon-like startup, has attracted Stefan Glänzer (an early investor in, Michael Brehm (Ex-StudiVZ) and Jochen Maaß as seed investors. No figure has been released but sources say the seed round is in the €300,000 vicinity. This investment effectively fires the starting gun on the race to build the European “take” on Groupon.

Meanwhile – even while at least five other UK startups prep their own versions – Groupon has already rolled out a London service, showing a London landing page to UK visitors to its .com site via IP targeting.

Founded and managed by Fabian Heilemann, DailyDeal is apparently already in talks about a Series A round to expand out of Germany, although they really should go and buy first.

The investment is significant since Glänzer is not known for investing European clones of US sites. However, he tells us the team at DailyDeal is among the “most energetic” he’s seen in this space.

And aside from there are others mushrooming in Germany. is backed by the Samwer Brothers (they love a good clone don;t they). Then there is Heimatpreis, Coupomania and we’re hearing that another called “Dealando” is on the starting blocks.

But why is this space suddenly hot? Let me explain.

Groupon offers users deep discounts on products and services from local businesses. Not unlike (apparently still alive)from the late 1990s, you need a minimum number of users to pile into a deal before they get the discount. But unlike the latter dotcom bust site, you only have a day to do it, plus there is a big difference. Around the year 2000 the only thing people could do to spread the deal was to email eachother. Today they can email, Tweet and Facebook, among many other methods – this makes the deal much more likely to happen.

Groupon is pulling insane revenues and says it’s on track to generate $100 million in gross merchandise sales in 2010 – and they take a 30%-50% cut. Anecdotally the service appeals particularly to women, although I’ve signed up myself to check it out, so that’s at least one guy.

Meanwhile there are 4-5 different London based teams working on a UK version of groupon.

The ugliest is probably Wowcher. Another with a holding page is

Hold on to your hats people….

  • Jackie Danicki

    Mike, is your anecdotal evidence referring to American, British, or continental peeps? I assume British as you use yourself as proof that at least one guy will like it. My observations in the US don’t show much of a gender preference, if any. I know a lot of guys who are enthusiastic Groupon users. That said, the site offers a lot of spa and beauty deals that most men just don’t go for.

    I was just talking to a friend yesterday about the need for a UK version of Groupon, funnily enough. After my time in Britain, I do wonder if they don’t have something of a hill to climb in terms of cultural reticence to use vouchers. My friends in the UK who are mums with children have no problem using them, but I don’t know many others who are big fans. The US, with its regular Sunday paper inserts of coupons (up to 100 pages of them) is less sheepish about these things.

    Either way, great to see Groupon itself expanding to the UK. I love this company, especially as a great example of one that has made an excellent pivot. Their original incarnation had nothing to do with merchandising, and I love how they reinvented themselves.

    • Mike Butcher

      “Anecdotal” as in a contact of mine told me they thought it had more of a female audience, however, as you (and I) point out, it’s only anecdotal evidence.

      My observation is that the UK is going mad about saving money because of the recession. No-one has any more issues about this stuff any more – although they probably don’t go around shouting about it, admittedly.

      • Max Niederhofer

        77% women (source: Also for extra lulz:

        Now, one could argue cause and effect of inventory type (beauty, health, hair care) and gender of user base. But “I want to do something fun” + “I love bargains” + “Let’s get a whole group together” does sound pretty female-skewed to me.

        For full disclosure, I have a personal interest. So “4-5 5-6 different London based teams working on a UK version of groupon” :)

        Let the games begin.

      • Max Niederhofer

        No markup in comments? ‘/sadpanda

        What I meant was that instead of 4-5, I believe there are 5-6 teams working. I.e. I am throwing my +1 in the ring. This looks like it’ll be fun!

      • Jack

        LoL, Max. Hey, there might almost be enough to organise a “UK Group Purchase Site Meetup.” =)

      • Jackie Danicki

        Mike, the unwillingness to shout about it isn’t a small consideration: Groupon has been successful, in large part, due to how easy it is for customers to evangelize to other potential customers. If Brits are less likely to share that they’re getting bargains, that could have an impact on Groupon’s success there.

        That said, I really hope this isn’t the case. It’s one of my favorite start-ups (I’ve spent hundreds with them in NYC and got many of my friends hooked, too).

  • Travel Blogs

    Groupon earned its success in the UK

  • Rahul Chaudhary

    The startups in other countries are also getting inspired by Groupon. I came across an Indian site few days ago.

  • jake


  • Jack

    We’re from – another group purchase site launching soon in the UK. It’s definitely interesting to see different teams pursuing similar models around the same time in Europe (what we call the TC Effect). =)

    Competition forces each player to innovate – and at the end of the day, creates tremendous value for small local businesses looking to acquire customers or customers looking for great bargains. Definitely interesting times!

  • Tom

    100 mio in revenues – wow

  • Nicolas

    I am also working on a collective buying company in Paris, France. If interested for collaboration or discussion, please contact me!

    • Ghassan Halazon

      I am, Nicolas. Get in touch with me. I have set aside some funds to invest in select players in this space.

    • Oleg

      Hi, Nicolas!

      How I can contact with you?

    • Karel

      Bonjour Nicolas,

      Ça intéresserait aussi d’en savoir plus. Je travail pour un opérateur et étudie les collaborations possibles avec ce type de site…

      • Jeremie

        Bonjour Karel,

        je lance mon site bientôt et tout souhait de coopération est bienvenue !!!

    • Jeremie

      Nicolas, je suis aussi en phase de lancement pour la France – pourquoi ne pas collaborer ?

  • nicolas

    You can contact me @nicoguyon via DM!

  • John

    have you guys seen wowcher? they have been running in London for the last month

  • Nick Brummitt

    You state “The ugliest is probably Wowcher”
    Why? What do you find ugly about the site. I’d appreciate your and others constructive feedback.
    Ugly ducklings have a tendency to turn into swans

  • samd

    deal/voucher business can createlocalised voucher delivery is the way forward and we are exploring this space. Also new “clever” ways to allow consumers to hunt for deals/vouchers are also interesting. We did a recent lab project which went live here

  • Rick

    One more new player is about to enter into the German market:

    For partnership and other issues just drop an email to


    • Ronny Wintersheim

      That looks extremely promising, Rick! When are you planning to launch?

      • Rick

        Thanks Ronny, we should be up at arround mid of Jan.


  • Al

    I was thinking of doing something similar with a domain name I own (Anyone interested in a joint venture????)

  • dailypon

    get ready for some hard competition y’all:

    • Dave Angel

      haha sorry but come on that design is the exact same as Groupon’s… and dailypon? more like tampon! lol good luck!

      • dailypon

        so, you call us a copy-katz? look at groupon again. it’s green. get it?

      • Dave Angel

        well done… you have managed to change the color but nothing else! good luck n00b

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    ne pas faire manger le troll

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  • nicolas

    Avec plaisir, rencontrons-nous :

    • investor

      Je suis un investisseur intéressé par la mise en place de ce concept en France.
      Nico, Jéremie merci de me contacter

  • Günay

    soon start in mannheim, heidelberg and ludwigshafen

  • Christian

    Just started a fun aggregator of like sites in Germany – enjoy!

  • Michelle Dewberry

    Sorry, bit late to this thread.

    I’m also working on a launch in this area. If anyone wants to chat / collaborate, let me know.

    • Jack

      Ha! And then there were 8 (in UK)…?

      Wowcher – quickest to launch?
      Chiconomise – focused on women lifestyle/living
      DealBunch – focused on food & drink
      (Tobenamed) – serious team

    • Kim

      Hi all, well this thread seems to have died slightly! A new contender Yes I own up it is mine. I am approching this as an opportunity not to be missed. I have read so many good and bad things about alot of these sites and I have two which i think are awsome. I can honestly say I have taken on board alot of comments and I am very excited. Our launch date is around June but I would love you to follow us on facebook now. We are a family based company not a company with millions in the bank but with determination I believe anything is possible. We also have a new idea which has not yet been done and will be branched off by the end of the year.

      See you all soon


  • sam

    anyone NOT working on a launch in this area!

  • Kevin C

    I just came across

    Same concept, but it looks like they focus a lot on marketing. And I do like the name.

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