October 8, 2012 by Terence LEE
In Asia, the daily deals industry is apparently in the doldrums. In an analysis done by Groupon Singapore, only 19 group buying companies now remain, down from a peak of 72 in 2010 and 39 in 2011. 84% of these companies lasted less than a year.
The downward spiral in Singapore dovetails with the predominant trend in Asia and the world: Group buying sites are shutting down en masse. In the second half of 2011 alone, Daily Deals Media reported that 1,348 such companies have gone under. While some group buying sites have been acquired, they are in the minority.
Groupon’s share price, meanwhile, has tumbled to USD 5.25 per share on 6 October from a high of USD 31, despite a profitable quarter. Another American daily deals company, JigoCity (acquired by the owner of porn magazine Penthouse), is also finding the waters choppy in Asia: It recently left Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Australia.
But just like how the movie Rocky Balboa became a surprise hit in the face of doubts in 2006 — 16 years after the disappointing last film — Asia’s daily deals sites are reinventing themselves to stay in the fight. Read more