Yellow grabs Groupy

UPDATE FRIDAY, 9AM: Groupy's $1 Hell Pizza deal went live at midnight. By 9am, 4355 pizzas had been sold, with somewhere between five and twenty being snapped up a second. Lance Wiggs' assertion that Groupy can explode in popularity with Yellow's marketing muscle behind it seems to have proved true (this morning's traffic has been helped along by ads on Facebook and Stuff). Or at least it's held true at a $1 price point.

Before 11am, Groupy's full whack of 12,000 pizzas had sold out, though not before a few grizzles about glitches and a few gibes on its Facebook page.

Financially-distressed Yellow has bought group-buying deal site Groupy.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Groupy was founded by Wellingtonians Scott Kitney and Andrew Hunt, backed by fellow shareholder Lance Wiggs, an entrepreneur who has previously been involved with TradeMe, and is now part of Pacific Fibre, among other startups.

The deal comes on the heels of Yahoo7 buying one of Groupy's competitors, Spreets, in a transtasman deal, which Aussie media put at an (as yet uncofirmed) $A40 million+.

Other local contenders include Grabone (50% owned by Herald publisher APN), and 1Day's group-buying spin-off 1DayOut.

Mr Wiggs would not comment on financial details but did offer that the deal was the "right combo - we have the smarts online and speed of change, they have the sales muscle through the country and small business sales expertise."

He did not dispute Grabone's estimate of Groupy's sales - but said the Yellow deal would give Groupy heft - as evidenced by a $1 pizza deal due to start shortly, covering 15,000 pizzas from a major chain.

READ ALSONZ group buying sites' sales, and pecking order, revealed

The next big thing
Group buying sites - which offer a deal-of-the-day that only kicks in once a set number of people agree to buy a product or service - have become a white hot category since Google made a $US6 billion bid to buy Groupon late last year.

Groupon rejected Google's offer, and is now pushing ahead with an IPO that values the US site at $US9 billion.

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