The daily deals giant is on a spending spree, buying two companies in consecutive days. First it acquired Hyperpublic, a geo-location database maker, and them it bought Kima Labs, famous for creating Barcode Hero, an iPhone app for scanning barcodes.Prior to the acquisitions, Groupon also announced a special VIP program for its users.
For $30 per year, paying Groupon users will have extra perks like early access to deals, access to past offers (Groupon Vault) and extra refund options.
Groupon, like Zynga, failed to impress with its Q4 financial results, and is feeling the heat from all its competitors.
Soon after it boomed on the scene, clone sites, local websites or similar ventures from giants like Google or Facebook have chipped away at its traffic, driving Groupon revenue down month by month.
Both acquisitions make perfect sense, Hyperpublic and Kima Labs bringing in new personnel, know-how and technologies that will help Groupon improve it's deals targeting mechanism, while also expanding it's presence on the mobile market.
The first company, Hyperpublic, was founded two years ago in New York, and has recently made its way into a hotlist of “must buy” startups for big companies.
Their most famous and distinctive technology is Places+, a geo-location database for e-commerce shopware, which can aggregate deals, businesses and social information all into one.
Places+ will give Groupon the same kind of geo-locationing capabilities found in Foursquare or Factual.
The second company, Kima Labs, was founded by three former Amazon employees and is specialized in creating mobile e-commerce software.
It's first product was a huge hit, and it was the aforementioned Barcode Hero, one of the most used iPhone apps for scanning barcodes.
While not entirely useful to Groupon, Kima Labs' other iPnone app is for sure. It's named TapBuy and it's specialized in handling mobile payments on the iPhone.