Group buying site Groupon has acquired Pelago, a location based services company backed by investors including Reliance Venture Asset Management, the venture investment arm of the Reliance ADA Group, which also has investments in Yatra.com and Stoke.
Pelago was the company behind Whrrl, a location based service, which was initially Google-Latitute-like friend finder service with status updates, check-in’s, adding photos, rating and comments on places, including a check-in application, ala FourSquare, which also helps users discover places similar to the ones they check into, by analyzing usage patterns . This takes on a completely different scale when you offer it to GroupOn’s deals user base.
Pelago has announced that Whrrl will be shut down on April 30th, with the hint that “the ideas underpinning Whrrl and many of the inventions contained within may reemerge under the Groupon banner.” The Whrrl team is joining GroupOn, which says that their obsession with real-world serendipitous discovery (as opposed to search based discovery) is core to GroupOn’s mission. Obviously, they’re referring to the discovery of deals on maps and through friends.
Alongwith Reliance ADAG, Pelago was backed by Kleiner Perkins, T-Venture, Bezos Expeditions, DAG and Trilogy Equity Partners. We had previously mentioned synergy between Whrrl and Reliance ADAG’s own ambitious maps venture BIGMaps. But Whrrl never did launch in an Indian avatar, and BIGMaps appears to have gone into a limbo, especially after former BIGMaps COO Manav Sethi left last year. Earlier this year, GroupOn entered India by acquiring little known upstart SoSasta.co m.
A few days ago, Reliance Venture Asset Management also announced that it had made a profitable exit from 4G chip Sequans, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
– GroupOn Looking For Affiliates In India; Competitor Launches
– GroupOn Enters India By Acquiring SoSasta.com
– On Integration Of Maps With Social Networks, Events, News & More
– BIGMaps Launched On Reliance GSM; Why RCOM? Friend Finder Pointnfind
– On Google Latitude Vs BIG Maps
– Reliance Invests in Mobile Social Network Pelago; Total $15 Million Raise