zagat

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. Read more