By Dawn Kawamoto
Groupon has gone on a buying spree, snapping up three group-buying websites in Asia to expand its footprint overseas, the company announced Tuesday. Ironically, the move by Groupon comes at a time when the popular deal-of-the-day buying website is reportedly in talks to be acquired itself by Google (GOOG).
Groupon, a rapidly growing two-year-old start-up, acquired uBuyiBuy, Beeconomic and Atlaspost. It will use these sites to launch its Groupon Hong Kong, Groupon Singapore, Groupon Philippines and Groupon Taiwan brands. The company plans to give the three sites a once-over with the Groupon look and feel over the next few months.
These purchase will build on Groupon’s existing presence in Asia; the company already launched Groupon Japan in August. Terms of the deal for the three sites were not disclosed.
“We see enormous potential in the Asian marketplace, and the expansion of Groupon to Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan is an important next step,” said Rob Solomon, Groupon president, in a statement. “We’re excited to leverage an incredibly Internet-savvy customer base to generate increased sales for local merchants.”
The acquisitions by Groupon come as the company is expanding its operations beyond its geographical footprint. Groupon recently announced it was adding Groupon Stores, a feature that allows companies to offer their own discounted deals whenever they want, rather than wait for Groupon to take those steps, which in some cases can take months.
Just like the explosion of social networking sites over the past few years, the notion of collective group-buying has gained rapid traction domestically and overseas, with enough copycats to fill, say, a shopping basket. Deals for Deeds, DealRadar, and Scoop St. are just some of the contenders that have emerged. But with Groupon jumping on sites overseas, the industry leader is apt to maintain its mojo.