A pair of New York-based entrepreneurs have launched the Jewish equivalent of Groupon.
Allen Ganz and Jodi Samuels, co-founders of the Jewish-mom-aimed site MetroImma, have rolled out jdeal, a new discount aggregation site/community aimed specifically at Jewish consumers.
Jdeal, which launched quietly just before Hanukkah, features discounts from New York merchants selling everything from Kosher food to restaurants and hotel deals to entertainment packages designed to appeal to Jewish users, such as a comedy club (Stand Up|NY) that offers Kosher wine and dessert.
According to Samuels, the thinking was the company would need 3,000 to 5,000 members to get merchants interested. Thus, to get jdeal off the ground her team tapped the MetroImma audience as well as a nonprofit networking group in which Samuels was involved.
It’s early, but jdeal has seen its memberships swell from about 1,000 users to 5,000 in just six weeks. The company has attracted merchants ranging from butchers and dry cleaners to upscale realtors and yoga studios. “We have a full month of deals already set up going forward,” said Samuels.
Like Groupon, jdeal relies on its members to spread its potential deals across the Web—usually through social media—until they reach a preset number of committed buyers. Once a deal reaches its tipping point, Jdeal shares any associated revenue with its merchant partners.
The plan going forward is to introduce versions of jdeal in seven other cities in the U.S. and Canada over the next year to 18 months. The company has also just launched an affiliate program, through which various Web publishers will get incentives to promote jdeal offers.
But why does the Jewish community need its own version of Groupon? “Groupon does not necessarily offer deals that are relevant to Kosher consumers, for example,” said Samuels. “And other Jewish businesses don’t necessarily want to offer 50 percent off discounts to people that are not likely to become repeat customers.”