Deal Of The Day With DEAL.com.sg
May 3, 2010 by Gwendolyn Regina T
Just launched this morning, DEAL.com.sg is a new venture in town that matches businesses in the lifestyle, F&B and entertainment industries to shoppers online. Consumers can buy items at a significant discount (between 50-90%) off the usual price. For example, DEAL’s first deal allows you to purchase a Starbucks $5 voucher for only $1! That’s an 80% discount. However, each deal requires a minimum number of buyers within a 24 hour time slot in order to take place.
The concept is nothing new, being one of the many sites and outright clones similar to the successful Groupon and LivingSocial in the US (read Why Does China Copy Designs?). Groupon is valued at USD 1.35 billion in its latest Series C funding round announced two weeks ago, while LivingSocial closed its USD 14 million Series C funding 1 month ago, making it a total of USD 44 million raised just this year.
The speed at which such daily deal sites have been gaining momentum around the world shows that this business model can work for many countries and I strongly believe, Singapore included. Investors are also extremely bullish about the retail deals space, what with the amount and speed at which the two US players above raised funds.
While there are other shopping discount sites for Singapore such as Ideals Singapore and Great Deals Singapore, DEAL is the only one with a “24-hour only, minimum order deal, social media viral marketing” concept. Also, Ideals’ focus is on technology products and gadgets so it is not competing in the same space as DEAL.
Update: There are more in this field in Singapore! We just featured VoucherWOW.
For retail, F&B, lifestyle and entertainment companies, DEAL can be a great way to reach out to more customers at zero risk. If the minimum order you set is not reached, you wouldn’t have gotten actual sales through DEAL, but you got free publicity for one day.
For DEAL, the difficulty in getting into this business as an online middleman is obviously getting good enough deals that people actually do want to buy. Having lesser-known companies willing to jump on board is great, but not good enough if you want to attract the consumers who will actually buy the deals. If successful, a virtuous cycle starts where you gain more user traction and then more companies will want to come on board.
So I think it is great that DEAL got Starbucks on board so early in their business. I mean, almost everyone drinks at Starbucks at some point: some purchase their daily cup of joe and some gather there for meetings (I know I do).
Team and Company
DEAL is founded by Patrick Linden and Jan Croeni, both are no strangers to startups. Patrick’s previous startup, iHipo, just got acquired by the market leader in graduate recruitment marketing, PotentialPark. (Disclosure: Bernard and myself are investors in iHipo.) Last year, he also founded Net Minds, a web development, domain holding and affiliate marketing company which is based out of Singapore, Germany and Russia. Check out an interview we did with the iHipo founders (including Patrick).
While Jan had gained lifestyle and consumer goods marketing experience in Singapore over the last 5 years and set up his own environmental consultancy. He also set up Singapore’s first electric vehicle and charging infrastructure company Zeco/Greenlots. It secured funding from EDB and IPOS.
DEAL plans to expand across major cities in Southeast Asia within the next 3-6 months.
While I love DEAL, I wish I could buy more Starbucks vouchers instead of just the one everyone is entitled to.
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About The Author
Gwendolyn Regina T - Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Gwen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SGE. Previously, she was a partner of early stage technology investment firm, Thymos Capital and she has had two exits, one of which is iHipo. She is also an investor in Padlet, a Y-Combinator startup. Gwen also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Singapore Innovation & Productivity Institute, Steering Commmittee for the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Awards 2013, and Board of Advisors for Social Media Week 2013. A frequent public speaker, mentor and judge at various startup bootcamps, events and competitions, Gwen loves meeting founders, developers, designers and scientists across all ages. An alumnus of the National University of Singapore and its University Scholars Programme, Gwen also spent some time in Silicon Valley and is a graduate of the NUS-Stanford University overseas college programme. She is also a mentor at Polish tech startup incubator Gamma Rebels, the Singapore curator for US-headquartered StartupDigest and the Singapore Ambassador for the Sandbox Network - the leading global network of innovators under 30. Gwen has also been a Worldwide Judge for Imagine Cup - the premier student technology competition helmed by Microsoft. She has also spoken in Hong Kong at one of its largest youth conferences, MaD Asia, and was recently in Austria to help envision the future of the country's economy in 2032 on invitation from an Austrian governmental organization. Gwen speaks 3.25 languages, loves physics, travelling, dance and adventure sports. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Gwendolyn Regina T