The New York Times today reports on the hundreds of daily deal startups that are trying to follow in Groupon’s footsteps. It’s a great story, pinpointing one of the hottest trends in the Internet space right now. It got me wondering about all of the activity right here in Seattle, so I decided to create a list of the local companies that are trying to compete.
As you’ll see, there’s no shortage of activity from large and small players alike. Why the activity? Well, anytime you have a company reach 60 million subscribers almost over night (as Groupon has done), there will be a mad, herd-like entrepreneurial dash to cash in.
Here are some of the players in Seattle that are trying to take a bite out of that pie. (Post a comment below if I forgot any notable names).
Bing: You know it is a big market when titans such as Microsoft stand up and take notice. Microsoft’s search engine just last week unveiled its play in the space, a service that aggregates daily deals from Groupon, Living Social and others. The company has partnered with Dealmap on the offering, noting in a blog post that its mission is to “help you cut through the clutter of the Web to make decisions more quickly.”
Daily Ticket: There’s so much buzz in this category right now, that, as I was compiling this list, I discovered this entirely new startup in the SEC filings. The Web site doesn’t have many details, but an automated email generated about the service offers a few clues. “We’ll email you exclusive one day offers featuring local businesses so you can explore your neighborhood for half price. Woot!,” the message says. Executives involved include Lauren Bernstein and Jonathan Washburn, a Seattle entrepreneur who is best known for helping to build the online real estate community Active Rain.
Deal Co-op: Incubated at TechStars, Deal Co-op provides white-label daily deal technologies for radio stations, mom groups, trade associations and other online publishers.
Dealometry: Built on the back of Deal Co-op, Bob Crimmins’ recently launched startup targets guys who are looking for deals. The first offer? The Manpack, a package that consists of socks and underwear.
DealPop: A product of WhitePages, DealPop is looking to go head-to-head with powerhouses such as LivingSocial and Groupon. The company is trying to leverage the massive directory at WhitePages to source the best deals for customers. Current deal: Half off food and drink at the Old Town Alehouse in Ballard.
Grocery Cart Savings: The winner of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network’s First Look Forum, Grocery Cart Savings is looking to bring online coupons to grocery shoppers’ mobile phones. Not quite a daily deal site, per se, but we’ve included them anyway. Founder is Ryan Myers, formerly of TalentSpring.
Public Deals: Allows merchants to run daily deal promotions via their Facebook pages. Led by Scott Weiss of Zpop Media, Public Deals takes a 25 percent cut of proceeds rather than the more typical 50 percent. Weiss said the idea is to help the business owner collect more fans on Facebook and then “let their current fans ‘share’ the deal with their friends to create a buzz.” To date, they’ve run about 20 deals for Seattle area merchants.
Tippr: Looking to compete with the big dogs, Tippr offers both a consumer-facing daily deal offering as well as a white-label service. Founder Martin Tobias, who previously led Loudeye and Imperium Renewables, has a knack for jumping on trends early. The company — which purchased group buying patents from Mercata — just raised an extra $4 million.
Yubit: Not to be confused with daily deal aggregator Yipit, Yubit is the creation of Microsoft veteran Ivan Joseph. The startup is trying to carve its niche by focusing on small, specialized merchants just in the Seattle area. Current deal on the site is two tickets for $10 for Split 2nd Improv in Redmond.
Zulily: A niche site that focuses on daily deals for babies and kids. Backed by Maveron and led by former Blue Nile executive Darrell Cavens, the Seattle company is growing like a weed, now employing more than 100 people. Zulily is certainly one to watch in this space.
John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire, a technology news site in Seattle. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews.