Groupon just made another acquisition: It is buying Pelago, the company behind Whrrl, one of the original, Foursquare-like location-based services.
Pelago CEO Jeff Holden will oversee Groupon product development — his mobile experience will be especially helpful for Groupon’s forthcoming “Groupon Now” mobile app — and many Pelago team members will get jobs at Groupon.
Before Pelago, Holden worked at Amazon for 8.5 years, finishing there as SVP of Consumer Websites, “where he oversaw the end-to-end consumer experience including search, navigation, personalisation, social computing, ordering, merchandising and automated email,” according to his bio.
Whrrl, meanwhile, will be shut down at the end of April, but Holden says in a blog post, “You would be right to expect that the ideas underpinning Whrrl and many of the inventions contained within may reemerge under the Groupon banner.”
Andrew Mason explains in a prepared statement:
“We’ve always liked CEO Jeff Holden, the Whrrl team and the technology they’ve developed. Their obsession with real-world serendipitous discovery, or Anti-Search, is core to Groupon’s mission. It’s about discovering what you didn’t know you didn’t know, right in your own backyard. Jeff intimately gets consumer buying behaviour and the importance of a great user experience, and his team is this awesome combination of data-driven creatives…the people who create smart products that are really fun to use.”