Vinicius Vacanti, cofounder of local deals aggregator Yipit (pictured right), has a different theory: there are going to be hundreds of them.
Of course, he doesn’t think there will be hundreds of companies the size of Groupon, which has already raised $35 million dollars. But the barriers to entry in this space are almost nonexistent, and Vin says they are extremely cheap to run, so just about anyone can start running their own small-scale Groupon.
That would be great news for Yipit, which currently sorts through the content of over 65 deal services to put together its own daily emails. Yipit highlights deals of interest to users based on their preferences, and compares each day’s deals to similar recent deals across all services to evaluate them.
This addresses the major flaw with these sites; each one generally has one deal per city per day. The chances that any given deal will appeal to any given person are slim. There are only so many times a dude in New York wants to hit the delete button on Groupon’s daily spa treatment offer before unsubscribing. And not many people are likely to voluntarily receive and sort through half a dozen daily emails. If Yipit does the work for you, the only email you need to read is theirs.
So far, Yipit, like most daily deal services, has focused on its email product. But the company is also working on its Web site, and several days ago launched — but has not yet announced — Twitter feeds for each of the five cities in which it operates: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and LA.
There will no doubt soon be a swarm of companies trying to own this space, so Yipit will have a hard time defending its turf. But if local daily deals are here to stay, this sort of aggregation is going to be huge.
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