Google may be entering the Daily Deal space later this year. The company plans to launch “Google Offers” to compete with Groupon and LivingSocial, e-mailing users a local deal-of-the-day every day. The service will be fully integrated into other of the company’s services (Checkout, Reader, Buzz). Google is also working on a way for consumers to use their mobile phones as wallets.
LivingSocial sold over 1.3 million deals for its Amazon Gift Card promotion on Wednesday. The deal, which offered $20 gift cards for $10, sold roughly triple the amount of units that Groupon sold during its groundbreaking Gap promotion earlier this summer. [ClickZ]
Groupon is potentially preparing for an IPO later this year, valuing the company at roughly $15 billion. This comes on the heels of raising just shy of $1 billion from big investors like T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley, and turning down a $6 billion offer from Google. Industry experts believe this could be the most highly anticipated IPO in the industry since Google in 2004. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein is rumoured to have paid a personal visit to the company. [New York Times]
LivingSocial acquired a majority stake in Spanish Daily Deal site LetsBonus. This helps the second largest Daily Deal site expand easily into Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina and Mexico. Moreover, the site has also expanded this week into nine new North American markets, focusing on college towns and more specific areas within larger urban centres such as Ann Arbor, Madison, and Boston-North Shore. [Internet Retailer]
Meet the new CEO of BuyWithMe: Jim Crowley. The former CEO of internet gaming Turbine brings his experience in scaling rapid growth organisations and knowledge of direct-to-consumer companies to the Daily Deal space. Crowley hopes to see the multi-million dollar Daily Deal site expand beyond its current roster of 11 cities. [VatorNews]