Groupin.PK is the latest in internet ventures by Pakistani entrepreneurs. Its method of operation and idea is similar to Groupon.com (name is slightly different), the massively popular couponing service in the United States.
The basic idea of Groupon, and by extension Groupin.pk , is that each day it offers a deal available for purchase in 24 hours. The discounts range from a minimum of 50% up to 90%. For example, a restaurant may offer a 60% discount and Groupon will publish it as their daily deal. Now to avail that deal a minimum number of people have to sign up for that deal. Lets say, 100 people. Now when a 100 people sign up for that deal, the deal is activated and Groupon sends you a coupon/voucher which you can print out and use as cash. Also, if, at the end of 24 hours (the amount of time each deal is valid for purchase), the minimum number of people is not met, you wont be charged. The theory here is the collective power of multiple buyers helps lower the cost, yet ensuring that the business does not loose too much money by offering such high discounts.
Interesting bit is that last year Google tried to buy Groupon in a deal estimated to be around 5-6 billion dollars. But they failed in their attempt and instead are launching a direct competitor, named Google Offers. Many argued that rejecting the takeover bid was a mistake but with rumors afloat of a $15 billion Groupon public offering in the horizon, seems like the critics were wrong.
Inspired by Groupons’ success, SnapDeal, India’s very own couponing service was started in India and it has gone from strength to strength. Launched in 2008 it now boasts over a million members. Recently they raised over 12 million dollars in investment and plan to expand to cover more cities in addition to the 50 they already cater to.
As for Groupin.pk, it is recruiting members at the moment, trying to build a proper user base before taking sail. There’s a free iPhone for referring all your friends to it for the Apple fans amongst you.
They will offer deals for restaurants, theaters, spas, boutiques and stores among other things. Groupin is also inviting businesses to get registered with them. Currently, the cities Groupin offers deals for are Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta but its only logical to assume that they’ll grow with time.
If they can emulate only a part of the success stories of Groupon and SnapDeal, they’re going to be an immensely popular stop for the discount loving, deal craving people amongst us.