Groupon is acquiring Savored, a provider of reservations at U.S. restaurants, for an undisclosed amount. Savored allows restaurants to bring in diners for empty tables by providing discounts for reservations during non-peak eating hours.
The acquisition will build upon the Groupon Now! business. “Savored’s platform nicely complements Groupon’s efforts in yield management, an area we’ve pioneered with Groupon Now,” Dan Roarty, vice president of Groupon Now, said in a company statement. “We look forward to working together to achieve a common goal – making dining out even more fun and affordable for consumers while helping restaurateurs manage inventory and grow their businesses.”
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Groupon was started in November 2008 and offers deals on meals, events and products in 48 countries. Groupon provides over 1,000 deals each day.
Dougas Krone, CEO of Leloca, another yield management platform, said the recent acquisition, “Affirms that larger players such as Groupon recognize the importance of yield-management. We think this sector will continue to heat up as economic gains, for both merchants and consumers, are driven from great mobile technology.”
Leloca claims there is a trend of moving away from the daily deal model found with companies such as Groupon, and toward a second generation of the deal business.
“The gaps in Groupon’s model have been uncovered and criticized, and some new businesses, discount and otherwise, are addressing those gaps by spearheading a new trend in deal business models – the yield management platform,” according to a Leloca statement.
Adding, “Groupon operates on a ‘loss leader’ model, meaning the merchant loses money to offer a deal, hoping to make money later from the exposure they might receive. Yield management companies like the new deal based app Leloca and the popular online community for hotel alternatives Air B&B, instead help consumers and merchants better utilize the goods and services that are already available to them, by connecting them to these things through technology.”
“Leloca gives the merchant the opportunity to bring in additional customers right when they need them via a discounted offer, just like airlines with open seats,” Krone added in the statement. “They have complete control of what they offer, the area that the deal will be offered within and when the deal will start and end. The merchant gets the customers right when they need them, maximizing their profit and minimizing waste such as electricity, staff, food, etc. Companies have fixed assets and can utilize those assets better with technology that connects people to them, helping society get more out of what it has. Yield management does just that.”
There are other discount companies which use the yield management platform, such as: Savored, ScoutMob and kgb Deals, as well as other kinds of businesses, including, Uber, an app for car service; Airbnb, which connects hosts with an open room, apartment or home with travelers; and ScoreBig Daily, which offers tickets for various events at a price users want to pay.
In a related matter, Groupon has entered the mobile payment market by launching a payment service that allows businesses to accept credit cards using an iPhone (News - Alert) or iPod touch. Groupon's new payment service was tested in the San Francisco Bay area.“Our goal is to provide powerful and affordable tools to help Groupon merchants run their business,” Mihir Shah, vice president of mobile and merchant products at Groupon, said.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman