Hugely successful group buying website Groupon has acquired a European clone called Citydeal, bumping the billion-dollar company's number of operating countries from two (just the U.S. and Canada) to 18.
Groupon will apply its own branding to the Citydeal websites at some point in the future, but the company's blog post says that the transition will take "months." Users will still need to sign up for a Citydeal account separately to take advantage of deals in the European regions served.
Those regions will include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Turkey, Sweden, Norway and Belgium.
Citydeal — which has 600 employees now — was founded by some of the same individuals who started European eBay clone Alando, which was later bought by eBay in an arrangement similar to this one.
Groupon invites its members to buy a product or service from a local business en masse at a greatly reduced price made possible by the sheer volume of opt-ins. It offers a new deal each day, giving users 24 hours to opt-in. The service has proved highly profitable for both Groupon and the businesses that partner with it, as well as a boon for local communities.
For example, a dance studio in Chicago recently sold more than 1,000 four-week classes at less than half the usual price-per-head. The business will benefit greatly, but so will the greater community of dance-related businesses in Chicago, which will grow significantly this year, bringing more money to venues and other studios and events.
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