Oportunista attempts to break Spain's mobile coupon barrier

Oportunista.com, a coupon-finding service local to Spain, has just launched an iPhone app (developed by MUBIQUO), an important missing piece for a company that specializes in online coupons. The company was founded two years ago after Rodrigo Gimenez Rico and Alexandra Klein came back to Spain from working in the U.S. and decided to give entrepreneurship a go back at home. Among others, the company is backed by some well known shareholders including Alberto Feliú, co-founder of Infojobs.net, DAD and Gustavo García, founder of Buyvip.com.

A few months back I had a brief chat with Oportunista about their plans for mobile. I thought it was an obvious and well-overdue component for a coupon based model. Rodrigo said they were working on it but that in Spain there was a significant barrier and it wasn’t smartphone market share. Local Spanish shops and restaurants are not keen on accepting mobile coupons because they apparently have no way to account for them.

To counter the issue, Oportunista’s iPhone app allows establishments to validate coupons through EAN13 barcodes, which are apparently used by some 90% of shops. Essentially, when making a purchase, once the barcode is scanned from the mobile, a discount will appear on the receipt. Let’s see if that helps Spanish establishments overcome their mobile coupon fears.

Oportunista aims to attract their user-base of over 100,000 with geo-localized discounts now available in 1,200 establishments via their iPhone, searching by sector or geo-location. The app also allows users to setup alerts, and an Android version is in the pipeline.

A similar offering is available from other locals, such as Qporama, which still has few offers, Tooio and Bliquo. The later two are both focused specifically on mobile, whereas Oportunista is using the mobile as an additional medium and accessory for their user community and advertisers. The model is quite simple, advertisers pay exclusively for each coupon redeemed.