Groupon Gets in the App Game

Andrew Mason p11

Groupon is set to launch a new mobile app service this month, Groupon Now, which will let users find deals based on time and location from their mobile devices. Industry reports indicate Groupon Now is expected to further the super-growth of the company even more rapidly, and should illustrate the need for a good mobile strategy for other small business owners.

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said the new service will give a user two options to choose from: “I’m hungry” and “I’m bored.” Picking one of the options pulls up a list of nearby ongoing deals. By using the service, Groupon users won’t have to check the website or rely on the company’s daily e-mails to find deals that fit their needs.

Mason said in an interview that he thinks of the new service as a cross between a coupon book and the Yellow Pages. It could drive consumer choice more than it does now, since the deals will be so easy to find and compare.

Groupon was valued at $1.4 billion last April, sought funding at a $3 billion valuation in November and rejected a $6 billion offer from Google (GOOG) two months after that. The company has been meeting with bankers to discuss a potential initial public offering that would value it at $15 to $25 billion, according to industry reports.

The launch of the new tool occurs on the heels of the departure of one of the company’s execs, COO Rob Solomon.

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