Google’s purchase of The DealMap comes some eight months after a buyout offer for deal giant Groupon was rejected in December of 2010. Google had offered US$6 billion for Groupon, a staggering figure that nevertheless failed to cut the mustard.
Since then, Google has announced a home-grown project called Google Offers. The service is in beta (of course), but Google has been promoting it heavily as a “coming soon” service on Hulu and elsewhere.
Groupon’s business model has been astoundingly effective. The company sells “coupons,” say a $40 dinner for two for just $20, with Groupon keeping 50% of the money. Companies have lined up around the block to sell their services through Groupon, while customers have lined up around the other block to buy them.
Of course, the problem for Groupon is that anyone can duplicate said model, and it seems like literally everyone has begun doing so. Yelp, Yahoo!, The San Jose Mercury News, and Google with the above-mentioned Offers service are just some of the entrants into this new market that have hopped on Groupon’s bandwagon.
As for The DealMap (It’s The DealMap, as DealMap.com is sitting vacant), the company was just 15 months old, having launched in May of 2010. The firm gathers and compiles local deals in a several U.S. markets and then pushes information about those deals to its users.
The DealMap announced in April that it had some two million customers, and it also claims a combined one million and change app installs on Android and iOS devices.
The screenshot below offers an indication-at-a-glance how the service works and a glimpse at how Google might be planning to incorporate the service into its own offerings, possibly even Google Offers.
The DealMap iPhone App Screenshot