Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Tippr Is Acquired by nCrowd in Further Consolidation of the Online Deals Space


Atlanta-based nCrowd, which owns social deals sites HalfOffDepot.com and CrowdSavings.com, has bought the assets of Seattle’s Tippr.com and Groupalicious.com.

In a statement about the acquisition, nCrowd CEO Brian Conley said the acquisition was part of an aggregation of more than 20 daily deals sites over the past two years, making it one of the largest in the space. “The addition of Tippr and Groupalicious brings our active subscriber base to over 3.2 million in the U.S.,” said Conley. “With this acquisition, we will feature quality local offers from New York to Honolulu and most major points between.”

Tippr, which launched several years ago, focused on creating a platform for itself and others for groups of online consumers buying together to get discounts on a range of products, by purchasing patents around aggregating demand from Mercata, a failed group-buying startup from Web 1.0.

Martin Tobias, founder and CEO of Tippr’s and Groupalicious’s parent company, Kashless, said the price of the deal was not being disclosed. “It is a combination of cash and equity that is hard to value,” said the former Microsoft exec in an email to me. “The merger makes nCrowd clearly the third-largest daily deal site behind Groupon and LivingSocial and probably the only one still growing and doing deals in this tough environment.”

And a tough environment it is, as all of the companies in the space struggle to regain their footing after initially explosive growth. Recently, its two leaders have stalled: Groupon fired its CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason and is rejiggering its business, even as LivingSocial raised money to stanch its losses.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald