Over the past year, Groupon has become a clear winner in the space in the US, despite thousands of startups trying to challenge it. And even at Groupon's scale, it still struggles. So far this year, only one deal has closed in the US (that was for Totsy buying the assets of Mamasource). The last notable deal was when Chase Bank purchased San Francisco-based Bloomspot for $35 million in December.
Even with the acquisition of CrowdSavings by Half Off Depot, the combined entity will still have a tiny footprint. nCrowd will have two million registered users who are signed up to receive daily emails in 17 markets.
"We compete with Groupon, but we used to compete with 600 daily deals sites. There aren't that many left anymore compared to how it used to be," said Brian Conley, CEO of nCrowd (previously of Half Off Depot).
Conley said the four-year-old company has been able to stay afloat by expanding beyond daily deals to social commerce, which means assisting merchants with running Facebook contests and helping them to improve customer retention. One to two years ago Crowdsavings was on such a buying spree that they included an ad on their website announcing, "We Buy Deal Sites."
Many of the deals were small however, costing around $100,000 to $400,000 apiece.