August 3, 2011

Google Buys The Dealmap to Compete with Groupon

by Jay Greene,

Google acquired a new company to add to its growing business of selling local daily deals.

The Web giant acquired The Dealmap, a start-up launched in May 2010 that aggregates daily deals in local markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are impressed with what The Dealmap team has accomplished and excited to welcome them to Google,” Google said in a statement. “We’ve been thrilled with the early success of our commerce offerings, and we think they can help us build even better products and services for consumers and merchants.”

The Dealmap has more than 2 million users of its mobile, Web, social, and e-mail products. Those customers have downloaded its applications on iPhone and Android devices more than 1 million times.

Google plans to add The Dealmap to its commerce teams and move the company’s employees to its Mountain View, Calif., campus. The acquisition should bolster Google’s efforts to tap the local daily deals market and compete with the current leader, Groupon.

Google tried to buy Groupon for as much as $6 billion last winter, but was rebuffed. Google shifted gears this spring, launching its own daily deals service, Google Offers, in Portland. The service has since expanded to New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Google Offers site says the service will soon be coming to Austin, Texas; Boston; Denver; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

On its site, The Dealmap opines, like so many other previous Google targets, that its new owner offers resources and scale to accelerate the company’s growth.

“We’re passionate about helping people save money while having great local experiences, and in Google we’ve found the perfect partner that shares this passion, as well as our vision and strategy,” the company wrote. “We believe that joining Google will help us innovate in new and unexplored areas of commerce.”

It’s unclear how long The Dealmap will continue in its current form. On its site, the company notes that “for the time being,” it plans to continue to offer its services as it integrates into Google.

“As we’re ready to share more about integration and transition plans, we’ll update our partners and consumers on progress and any news,” the company wrote.

The Dealmap was created by Center’d, a service launched to help users find venues and plan events. It shifted gears last year to focus on the local daily deals business. The company is run by Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Dulski, who previously served as Yahoo’s vice president of local markets and commerce, and Chief Technical Officer Chandu Thota, who once worked as the lead developer of Microsoft Virtual Earth, which has morphed into Bing Maps.

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