It’s been exactly a year since we spotted the trend of group buying sites or Groupon clones mushrooming everywhere. The past year has been actioned filled and mostly the center of attention in the startup ecosystem. SnapDeal was leading the game all along with boatload of marketing $$s being pumped in, the one thing that hasn’t yet changed. SnapDeal was testing the ads on the big ecommerce network Ebay, who has also entered the space.
The best bet of local content players entering the market is also seeing action with BuzzInTown launching a deals section and Taggle riding on AskLaila’s reach. The big daddy of all news was the attack of the original, Groupon entered India with acquisition of a relatively unknown SoSasta.
Groupon will be ramping up its India operations in full swing soon. There has been criticism and dis-interest from VCs and investors all over the world around the scalability and sustainability of this model given the army of sales guys required to get a new deal up everyday but that does not seem to stop Groupon from doing an IPO early next year.
Google India also revived its self service “coupons” feature in Google places which might be a scalable model but for now they are facing challenge with user education and spam. For Google it seems more of an acknowledgement system saying, “I generated this lead for you” then actually any direct revenue source. Though in future the “Offers/coupons” might be the default ad copy for local businesses on Google Adsense.
Between all this we have unconfirmed news of biggies like Indiatimes, Rediff (this is confirmed) and few print media players entering this space.
Here’s a roundup of all the groupon clones we have come across till date in no particular order. The list is non-exhaustive, if you know of more mail us at naman at pluggd dot in. We will add it here.
1. SnapDeal – They are the leaders in terms of traffic with Alexa India rank under 25. That is more traffic than Naukri or IRCTC, making it the No.1 ecommerce portal in India in terms of traffic. Yes, I just said that.
Not only that but it has actually crossed Groupon.com’s reach in terms of global traffic (Alexa). How much did they spend to get there? How many transactions/revenue do they do per day? Well, we will keep that for the founders to reveal. SnapDeal is a one of the only ecommerce player, apart from OTAs to take up the TVCs route (to best of my knowledge).
Bangalore based Grabbon was acquired by SnapDeal and according to the founder that was the turning point for them. They are lately aiming to be THE place for deals and offers with even deals from institutes like NIIT on offer. I have been a big critique of SnapDeal’s execution strategy all along but it seems the marketing $s can actually buy you all the attention in world and in course a multi Bn.
$ Rs. valuation also.
Startups, they are into a different ball game. They are good at what they are trying to achieve with SnapDeal, the way they want to achieve it. Don’t burn your fingers by replicating or following them. The game is beyond our playground.
Oh, did i mention they roped in a deal for date with Gul Panag.
2. Taggle – $8.75Mn funding is what got it the initial attention. Traffic is rising steadily with a major upbreak in mid-January. Advertising is driving traffic but the spend isn’t much. They have about 187K fans on Facebook but the activity is really negligible. The whole idea of mixing ecommerce with social reach of consumers seems to be almost dead in all other sites as well.
3. MyDala – This was my favorite in terms of quality of deals but with time the edge is lost. Traffic is pretty much stable. 54K fas on Facebook with little to no activity.
4. Koovs.com – Traffic is seeing new high since new year. They are bringing in electronics on sale as well. Not much action apart from Delhi / Bangalore. Exclusive local deals just seem to be missing.
5. SoSasta/Groupon India – The action seems to be just starting here. The ads are getting more visibility lately. Surely will be the player to watch out for. For now they either have repeated deals from other competitors or it is mostly ecommerce deals. They have all the insights from their global presence but will the international strategy work in India?
6. Dealivore – Traffic is very unstable and on a downtrend. The 306K fan base seems to be sleeping. The team hasn’t shown anything remarkable yet. They already claim to have spent over Rs.2Crs. and this is the reason why Zuckerberg is so rich.
7. DealsAndYou – The founders hate me for their acquisition announcement that we covered earlier but I will try and reciprocate some love (while being neutral). The fanpage with 171K fans is the most active amongst all the above players. Their initial stand of making it a mix of social media promotion + lead generation for local businesses seems to be strong. They are also exploring a dedicated section for travel/holiday deals. The ad spend is aggressive and they stand second to SnapDeal in terms of traffic.
8. BuzzInTown – Their long standing content play is definitely visible on the fan page. Their updates about deals get double the feedback as compared to DealsAndYou, though same in % of fans. The presence is only in Delhi and Mumbai, with Bangalore being added lately. The portal is willing to spend Rs.25 per new registration for the deals(DGM) which seems to be a sensible UAC but isn’t very low. As far as I remember they were earlier spending Rs.10 per registration during non-deals days. They haven’t entered deals for electronic products yet which is a sign of the fact that they have more in the kitty to show before they give up, if they ever do.
9. Ebay – The big daddy of e-commerce is still testing its local deals app with presence in Delhi and Mumbai. It is certainly giving a step-motherly treatment to local deals though. Who in the world came up with the URL koupananIndia.ebaysocialapps.com. Its even difficult to find a link from ebay.in to this app. No doubt the traffic is so poor. They are barely able to sell 3-4 deals for every offer.
10. Groffr.com – One player that is actually standing out with deals for high value purchases like real estate, cars, bikes etc. They seem to have some offline action as well. Activity is mostly around Mumbai.
11. Groopoffers.com – These guys are trying to achieve everything with deals on restaurants, salons, real estate and products. The action seem to alive and building up, may be they will make some buzz.
12. Coupon2Buy – A relatively new player that is not showing much action and not doing anything remarkable yet. The deals are just getting started in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.
13. CityOffers.in – Based out of Ahmedabad the action here is around this city only. Again a very new site with not much moolah to get in the race.
14. Foodome – Based out of Chennai these guys are concentrating on restaurants deals and home delivery of food only. Absolutely no marketing at all till now.
15. Dealmagic – Not sure if these guys are starting up or shutting down as they have no live deals. The fanpage hasn’t seen any update in past 3 weeks.
16. Masthideals – Not sure what they are upto. The “h” in the name suggests they are south India based, Chennai indeed. No deals live currently, past deals were around beauty salons and electronics mostly.
17. Groupon.in – Started as Groupoff they claim to have acquired the “Groupon” trademark in India. Deals are decent and traffic seems to be building now.
18. Scoopstr.com – Based out of Bangalore with presence in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore. Deals are decent, not much to talk about.
—-Updated (13 March 2011)—-
19. Mastsale.com – This site brings in exclusive local deals like other sites as well as listing of seasonal sales and offers going on at the local retail stores.
20. RobberyOnline.com – Active in Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur. The deals do not appeal at all. Marketing activity also seems to be low. They should have concentrated on getting one city right before going to 2 more cities.
21. HungamaDeals.com – Launching Soon.
22. Urbangain.com – Active in Kolkatta only. The deals seem to change once in 2-3 days. Nothing remarkable about the deals as yet.
23. Voucherwow.in – Available only in Mumbai. The deals seems better than most of the lot. Although pretty new but seems a little more serious than some of the above ones.
25. Dealonpune.com – As is clear from the name, the site is for Pune only. About 3 months old the deals are decently OK.
26. couponsonmobile.com – Based out of Mumbai and the local deals are available only for this city. The rest of the deals are from pan-India ecommerce sites. The site navigation is a little different.
27. Vamoose.in – Very recently launched they are playing a little different game with focus on travel and holiday deals only. This helps them keep the deals for a longer time and probably with a higher margin.
28. webkolkatadeals.com – Another one solely concentrating on Kolkatta. Effort seems to be in the direction getting maintaining each locality as a city and getting deals for each of them.
29. Khojguru – An early mover in the deals and coupons space, Khojguru has now moved in the sourcing there own deals as well. Given that they already have good traffic, they should be able to get reasonable traction for their own deals.
If we missed covering you, drop us a line at naman at pluggd dot in. If you are in the list, feel free to throw brickbats in the comments without getting personal.
Finding these too much to track for a deal? We will have a list of their aggregators as well very soon.
If you managed to read till here do share what you think of this space. Is there a serious business model in deal aggregator model now?
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]