Update: GroupOn has issued a press release confirming the acquisition, but with no details.
Update: According to Bubna’s LinkedIn profile, he’s ‘Managing Director, India at GroupOn’.
Jan 10th 2010: Daily deals major GroupOn, which is believed to be in the process of raising $950 million in funding, has acquired SoSasta.com, and Ananya Bubna, co-founder and CEO of SoSasta.com has taken on a new role as Managing Director, Groupon India, reports Alootechie. On being contacted by MediaNama, Bubna declined to confirm or deny the deal, and said that the report is “unofficial” and that we’ll hear from them in a couple of days.
The speculation that GroupOn would enter the Indian market in January 2011 was rife last month, so a deal might have been in progress. From what we’ve been told, they did approach other Indian daily deals sites for an acquisition or an investment. SoSasta (translates as So Affordable) is among the many GroupOn inspired daily deal sites in India, and has been founded by two former Google employees. It had operations in Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune, as of October 2010.
The problem is that for GroupOn, India might end up being another country in their portolio of sites, and not necessarily an area of focus: this might mean that it loses out to stronger India focused businesses that actually put feet on the street for acquiring deals from businesses and brands. In the last year, GroupOn has acquired majority stake in Australian deals site JumpOnIt, acquired Chilean site ClanDescuento and German startup CityDeal.de. The GroupOn brand is virtually unknown in India, out side the Internet business community, so it’s not like the brand will have much leverage.
Remember that Greylock Partners and GroupOn investor Battery Ventures reportedly committed $8.75 million for investment in deals site Taggle. No GroupOn exit for them?
– Dealsandyou Not Raising Fresh Funding Yet; Gaurav Kachru Joins As CEO
– Group Buying Moves To TV: Cellcast Launches Bargain TV Show
– Harish Bahl On The Group Buying Space In India And The Wanamo Acquisition
– What’s The Deal With The Group Buying Space In India? One HUGE Positive