groupon

Tech news from around the web:

  • Verizon has released its first iPhone 4 commercial, thanking customers who waited for the iPhone finally to arrive at the carrier, TechCrunch reports.
  • Google is to launch Offers, a site similar to Groupon and LivingSocial, that will provide daily discounts on local businesses, Mashable reports.

 

Tech news from around the web:

  • The launch of the Daily, News Corp’s news service for the iPad has been put back by a few weeks, All Things Digital reports. Apple supposedly needs extra time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through iTunes.
  • BGR has the details of the two latest BlackBerry smartphone handsets: the Dakota, which it claims will “sit right at the head of the BlackBerry family dinner table”, and an upgrade to its Torch model.

 

From the FT:

 

David Gelles

When Facebook Deals launched on Wednesday, an impressive raft of launch partners were already signed up. The Palms in Las Vegas was giving away a third night free, Chipotle was giving away a second entree on the house, and Gap said it would be giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans on a date to be determined.

When I arrived at work this morning, it was clear that the Gap promotion was happening today. More than a dozen people were lined up outside the Gap across the street from our office.

After dropping my bag, I grabbed a notepad and my iPhone, and darted over to see if I could be one of the lucky ones to claim the Deal. 

David Gelles

In Silicon Valley, success breeds imitation. Witness the glut of doomed e-commerce sites during the Dot Com bubble or, more recently, the plethora of mafia-themed social games on Facebook.

The latest hot trend is group buying. By offering daily deals for restaurants and local businesses, a handful of companies have become profitable middlemen between deal-hungry consumers and businesses looking for new patrons.

Groupon has the early lead, with operations in 80 markets and $135m in fresh funding. It also has plenty of clones — from LivingSocial Deals to Woot to BuyWithMe. Now add another one to the list — Zagat. 

David Gelles

Groupon is already the leader of the pack when it comes to local deals .

By offering deep discounts to restaurants, shops and services in more than 80 markets, the two-year-old company is minting cash (it has been profitable for more than a year). Its success has inspired a raft of imitators, and helped the company draw in a $135m investment from Digital Sky Technologies earlier this year.

When businesses are featured on Groupon, they are slammed with an influx of new customers. It’s a happy problem to have, especially in tough economic times. But demand has overwhelmed Groupon of late, with as many as 700 local businesses a day wanting to offer Groupons. Now, chief executive Andrew Mason thinks he has found the solution — personalised deals. 

David Gelles

It was only in March that LivingSocial, the number two group buying site, took $25m in Series B funding. That, apparently, only tided the fast-growing company over for six weeks. Today the company is back with another $14m in funding, largely from the same investors.

That may seem like a lot of cash to take on in a few short months, and it is. But it pales in comparison to the $135m that Groupon, the leader of the pack, took from Digital Sky Technologies and friends a few weeks ago.