Groupon purchases location-aware app Glassmap

Steven Loeb · January 12, 2013 · Short URL:

Acquisition will help perfect the offering of location-specific deals on mobile

As the daily deals craze continues to wind down, Groupon must transition to mobile in order to stay relevant. This is something that Groupon CEO Andrew Mason acknowledged in an interview at the Mobile-Loco conference in December. Groupon already offers location specific deals, but what the company really needs to do is find a way to send deals that are relevant to that specific customer. 

Groupon took a another step toward achieving that goal by purchasing location-aware app Glassmap, which was announced in a blogpost by Glassmap Friday. 

"Today, we’re happy to announce that Glassmap has been acquired by Groupon! Our goal when we started building Glassmap was to help people find what was interesting and relevant around them.  But in plainer terms, we just really wanted to mold all these fancy ideas and innovations of Silicon Valley into a simple and useful tool for the real world," the Glassmap team wrote. 

"Groupon has revolutionized how people today use technology to interact with the real world, and that’s why we’re so excited to join them. Together, we’ll be able to create even more amazing products."

The Glassmap application be closing on February 15. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mountain View, California-based Glassmap is a location-sharing social app, designed to share a users real-time location with family and friends. It analyzed a users' Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter newsfeeds, as well as activity occurring nearby, in order to supply them with relevant social news that was happening near where they were. It also offered a personalized, real-time map, with photos and events happening in the nearby area.

Glassmap also offered a business solutions service, where they designed, built, and maintained custom apps for their customers. The app included location technology that allowed the companies to learn more about their customers, including habits, preferences, and tastes.

"Our location technology learns about your customers as individuals—their habits, preferences, and tastes. Ping each user with information relevant specifically to him or her. Remind someone to check out your latest deal when they're in the area. Reward your most loyal visitors with exclusive deals and coupons," it says on Glassmap's website.

It is most likely that it is the second part of what Glassmap does, the part where it gives more insight into what the customer likes, that caught Groupon's attention.

Groupon began to process of providing location-based deals with the launch of Groupon Now in May 2011

“Local commerce does not happen from behind your office desk on your desktop computer,"  Mason said at the conference in December. "You decide if you’re hungry or you’re bored on a street corner."

A third of all Groupon transactions now take place on mobile, even purchases for vacations and high-end goods, he said. 

Now, with the acquisition of Glassmap, Groupon is getting closer to perfecting the personalization process for its location-based deals. 

Groupon's other recent purchases

Glassmap is not the only company that has been purchased by Groupon in the last few months.

In September, It was announced that Groupon had purchased discount dining website Savored for an undisclosed amount.  Savored continues to operate, and working alongside Google Now, an app designed to using GPS to locate the closest and best deals for food or entertainment.

Savored is also deal website, but one that provides discounts to its member for buying something. Members of the site are able to search for high end restaurants, and make reservations online, which then entitles those who buy to discounts of 15 to 40% off.

In December, Groupon bought channel management technology company CommerceInterface. Once again, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CommerceInterface helps manufacturers, distributors and retailers succeed at managing their businesses and selling online. It offers a platform to merchants, which aids them with listing their products on different marketplaces, including eBay, Amazon and Fab. Obviously, once it was acquired, CommerceInterface only provided this service exclusively to merchants wanting to post to Groupon Goods.

Groupon and Glassmap could not be reached for comment.

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