Signpost expands beyond NYC, attracts Google

Ronny Kerr · October 20, 2010 · Short URL:

Community-powered local deals site known as Postabon hits Boston, Chicago and San Francisco


Signpost, the community-powered local deals site previously known as Postabon, relaunched on Wednesday a reworked website to match its renaming and to coincide with the service’s expansion from its New York City base to Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.

The New York City startup also announced having raised an undisclosed amount of capital from Google Ventures, the search giant’s VC investment arm. Google Ventures joins Spark Capital as an early investor in Signpost.

Like Groupon, Signpost is all about finding local deals. But the similarities mostly end there.

While Groupon is a deal-of-the-day site focused on presenting really awesome discounts curated by the site itself, Signpost turns to crowd-sourcing to share all the great deals in the user's area.

A San Francisco-based visitor to Signpost today, for example, would see free admission to Mission Dolores, $1 pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon at a bar near the Mission and an all-you-can-eat pizza place not too much further down the road. Sounds like one potentially awesome day and that’s just what is displayed in one pocket of a city that just today launched on Signpost.

In contrast, Groupon only posts one deal each day for each area, though arguably users near metropolitan centers actually live near a few different areas.

"Locals know there are hundreds of unique finds in their cities more valuable than the majority of generic deals we're all bombarded with every day," said Stuart Wall, co-founder and CEO of Signpost. "On Signpost, the community determines which deals matter most. We're building a community-powered site that helps local businesses and consumers find each other."

Should Groupon be worried by Signpost? Probably not.

As I’ve said, the sites are doing very different things. While the latter seems to be targeting businesses, encouraging them to offer amazing deals just for one day on Groupon to attract a bevy of customers, Signpost is more of a deals site for the people, letting the community upload local deals.

If anything, one could imagine the two sites joining forces to create an ultimate deals site, sponsored by certain businesses day-to-day but mostly powered by the crowd. For the foreseeable future, however, they will certainly remain strong and separate entities.

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