Groupon clone of the day: The Big Deal

Faith Merino · December 20, 2010 · Short URL:

Angie's List offers steep discounts for members and non-members alike on home and other services

Monday’s Groupon clone of the day is brought to you by Angie’s List, with its social shopping feature, The Big Deal.  Like other collective buying platforms, The Big Deal offers steep discounts that can only be activated once a minimum number of people sign up.

Launched in the summer of 2010, The Big Deal has a few little Angie’s List-specific quirks.  For starters, only businesses that have been featured on Angie’s List and rated with an average grade of B or higher can offer deals on The Big Deal, thereby ensuring that customers are getting a deal from a quality provider. 

Secondly, because Angie’s List specializes in rating service providers like doctors, home repair specialists, painters, movers, and the like, the deals are geared toward those very services.  For example, right now, people in Charlotte can get three rooms in their house painted for $599, representing a 50% discount on what would normally be a $1,200 service. 

Or Washington D.C. residents can get a whole-house electrical safety inspection for $115, representing a 35% savings on what would ordinarily be a $175 service.

Angie’s List members also get better deals than non-members, so the $599 deal for interior painting is $499 for Angie’s List members, and the $115 deal for whole-house electrical safety inspection is $89 for members.

In an interview with daily deals aggregator Yipit back in August, Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks explained how the company selects businesses for The Big Deal: “Because we have relationships with hundreds of thousands of merchants/vendors, our reach is extensive, and we know who does good work and who does not.  We leverage those relationships to negotiate the best deal for our members, and at the same time, drive more business for those merchants/vendors.”

As of Monday, The Big Deal appears to operate in 32 cities, though the company had hoped to offer the daily deals service in more than 50 cities by the end of 2010.  In September the company received a huge infusion of cash to do just that.  Battery Ventures led a $22.5 million round of equity financing, with help from Wasatch Funds and other unnamed funds.  In November, the company added a $2.5 million round of funding led by Saints Capital to the $22.5 million round, bringing the company’s total funding to $25 million for 2010.

One drawback about The Big Deal is that it doesn’t always have deals in every city.  Currently, there are live deals for 17 of the site’s 32 cities, with many of the cities having two or more deals offered, but nothing in San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, and several other cities that The Big Deal serves.  

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