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Groupon Takes on Social Gifting Service
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Groupon Takes on Social Gifting Service

Global deal of the day and discount site Groupon has snapped up social gifting service Boomerang.

Known as rang.com, Boomerang allows users to deliver paperless, customised gifts in seconds, allowing people to redeem gifts online or with their smartphone.

The Chicago-based business, which features brands such as Target, Hallmark and Fruit of the Loom, will close its site at the end of the month and will be incorporated into Groupon Freebies; a new Groupon feature which connects users with coupons, promo codes, and exclusive free offers from brands.

Not a week goes by without news of growth, innovative developments or new enterprises, in the thriving voucher code world. This year RetailMeNot became a plc, voucher code companies such as vouchercloud, Flipit and DiscountHunt entered into several new global markets, and the launch of discount codes in bank statements, and an increase in user-generated codes, made headlines.

Performance-based

Boomerang’s promotions are all performance-based, as it takes a share of the revenue, as opposed to charging up-front fees.

Co-founder and CEO of rang.com, Zachary Smith, said: “We are excited to announce that Boomerang has been acquired by Groupon, a global leader in local commerce.

“We’re grateful to the millions of people who used Boomerang to give and receive gifts and rewards, and we look forward to serving you at Groupon Freebies with amazing ways to save any time you shop.”

Boomerang, which scans a user’s Facebook network for occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, personalises gift options based on location and interest data.

It is very similar to social gifting platform Karma and to Swedish social gifting startup, Wrapp.

Karma was acquired by Facebook last year and Wrapp, which lets people use their smartphone to send free and paid digital gift cards to friends and family, raised $15 million in Series B funding in June this year – another coupon code success story.

Boomerang did already have a connection with Groupon, after previously gaining funding from Lightbank, a fund created by Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky and co-founder Brad Keywell.

Busy time for Groupon

It seems to be a busy time for Groupon’s operations within the performance marketing space. In August it announced it would be running its entire affiliate programme internally, after previously using networks such as zanox and Affiliate Window.

This new acquisition of Boomerang follows on the heels of Groupon’s September announcement, in which it revealed details of an agreement to purchase LivingSocial-owned Ticket Monster -  a Korean web-based business.

The $260 million deal, in cash and stock, is expected to be finalised early next year.

Groupon made the Ticket Monster announcement at the same time as its Q3 results - in which revenue missed analyst estimates ($595.1 million, vs. $615.69 million expected).

Revenue increased 5% in the third quarter 2013, compared with $568.6 million in the third quarter 2012.

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Pippa Chambers

Pippa Chambers

Freelance News Journalist at PerformanceIN - working to source the latest and breaking news in performance marketing. 

From newspapers to national B2B magazines and technology reporting, I have covered a variety of genres. NCTJ/NCE qualified.

Please email me at pippa.chambers@performancein.com and follow me @PippaC1

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