The social shopping company, Groupon acquired Pelago, maker of local discovery app Whrrl. The acquisition is official April 30, 2011, which means Whrrl will no longer exist. And Groupon will expand its format base outside the daily deals to more mobile and personalized discounts.
Whrrl users have no need to worry because according to Pelago CEO Jeff Holden the Whrrl data will not be lost once it closes its doors. He explains in his blog, “You’ll find on the website that you now have an option to retrieve your data – pretty much everything you ever put into Whrrl. It’s explained pretty clearly on the site, so I won’t get into the details here, but I hope you do download your data and ultimately have the opportunity to use it again.”
Holden will join Groupon and lead Groupon product development, with many of his team joining Grouponnovations. What a name! It will be interesting to see how the location-based service will evolve and combine with Groupon. Holden brings ample experience with real time member’s data, which Whrrl was known best. Holden spent ten years at Amazon developing the company’s sales progression with customer pitches and users clickstream.
Some users probably can make a good guess on how Pelago will merge into Groupon. Surely, we can see how each company complements each other. But Holden adds from his blog, “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. You would be right to expect that the ideas underpinning Whrrl and many of the inventions contained within may reemerge under the Groupon banner.”
Groupon’s inclusion of Whrrl’s technology will help users discover suitable deals within their sphere. As a result, Groupon will capitalize even more on the local market keeping its competitors at bay. It will be interesting to find out who benefits from the acquisition as far as the social shopping crowd is concerned.