Titan in daily deals business GroupOn, which has recently stunned the Industry by turning down Google’s $6 billion acquisition offer, is all set to debut in Indian market. As per the reports, surfaced in few online Indian journals, Company has successfully acquired SoSasta.com – another Indian clone of Groupon daily deal business model.
Though Dazeinfo has not been officially confirmed yet on such ‘reports’ by SoSasta management, but speculations are being made that Ananya Bubna, co-founder and CEO of SoSasta.com has already moved to a new role as Managing Director, Groupon India.
GroupOn has recently secured another round of funding for having extensive plan of expansion and global brand establishment. Recently Groupon has been valued worth $4.1 billion and appreciated as the fastest growing company in just 2 years of inception after YouTube.
The speculation that GroupOn would enter the Indian market in January 2011 was rife last month, so a deal might have been in progress. From what we’ve been told, they did approach other Indian daily deals sites for an acquisition or an investment. SoSasta (translates as So Affordable) is among the many GroupOn inspired daily deal sites in India, and has been founded by two former Google employees. It had operations in Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune, as of October 2010.
The challenge is that for GroupOn, India might end up being another country in their portolio of sites, and not necessarily an area of focus: this might mean that it loses out to stronger India focused businesses that actually put feet on the street for acquiring deals from businesses and brands. In the last year, GroupOn has acquired majority stake in Australian deals site JumpOnIt, acquired Chilean site ClanDescuento and German startup CityDeal.de. The GroupOn brand is virtually unknown in India, out side the Internet business community, so it’s not like the brand will have much leverage.
However, Dazeinfo would like to analyse the other side of the story where current Groupon Investors Battery Ventures and Greylock Partners have reportedly committed $8.75 million for investment in another deals site Taggle which is currently operational in India. If we go as per speculation, surely it will trigger a business clash and ,most probably, Investors will lean towards Groupon. Despite of all such speculations, Groupon’s selection of acquiring SoSasta, apparently, is another surprising move especially when many other strong contenders can be better choice to go with, many analysts claim. Undoubtedly, it will be another interesting scenario to monitor.
Be it rumor or authenticated information, daily deal market is progressively moving towards billion dollars industry in Asia and with the Groupon presence it will be only end users who are going to reimburse the cut-throat competition.
Update: Just now we have noticed that Linkedin Profile of Ananya Bubna, CEO of Sosasta.com, has been updated and now committing to work as Managing Director of Groupon. Seems the report is almost confirmed despite of holding it by SoSasta and Groupon.