Groupon Acquires Location-based Check In Service

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Groupon announced late Monday that it had acquired Whrrl parent company Pelago. For the uninitiated, Whrrl is a Foursquare-like app that encourages real-world discoveries of stores and local businesses, which doubles as location-based advertising for a user's peers.

But this is more than just another notch in Groupon's belt.

Groupon has been rapidly expanding, and sometimes into questionable areas -- most recently, offering deals with a real-estate agency. But this move shows the group-buying company is following a strategic master plan and moving into the location-based advertising game.

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason and former Pelago CEO  -- and before that, former executive -- Jeff Holden posted on their respective sites explaining why it's such a great fit:

"Their obsession with real-world serendipitous discovery, or 'Anti-Search,' is core to Groupon's mission,"  Mason wrote in a blog post yesterday. "It's about discovering what you didn't know, right in your backyard." 

"You might think at first this is strange ... But it actually makes a ton of sense," explained Holden in his blog post yesterday. "The mission alignment of the two companies and the fact that we've taken very different approaches is a big part of what makes this marriage non-strange, and in fact, very complementary and compelling."

Of course, Holden and Mason are speaking with bedroom eyes for each other's companies as the ink is still drying on their deal.

But there's good advice here for budding entrepreneurs: Make strategic acquisitions that are a good fit for your portfolio.

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