Industry News | September 19, 2013

Groupon’s New Partner Emphasizes Local Experiences

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Groupon announced the acquisition of SideTour, a marketplace that helps people discover, book, and host great local activities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


SideTour handpicks a growing selection of unique, hosted events that connect customers with qualified experts who help them discover more about their cities and the things they’re passionate about.


“The addition of SideTour’s curated local experiences furthers our vision of Groupon as the go-to place for consumers to find just about anything, anywhere, anytime,” says GrouponLive general manager Greg Rudin. “By offering these highly personalized activities, tours, and memorable things to do through Groupon, we can deliver even more fun ways for our customers to explore and discover the best local experiences.”


Events are intimate gatherings, averaging 12 attendees, and span food, drink, architecture, history, art, and much more. SideTour currently offers more than 500 public and private events with more than 400 hosts using the platform. Hosts include chefs, artists, Olympic medalists, casting directors, and sommeliers.


“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to showcase our fantastic events to a huge audience with a demonstrated appetite for great local experiences,” says Vipin Goyal, CEO of SideTour. “Groupon will extend our ability to find compelling and unique local experts and give them a platform to reach even more customers.”


SideTour will continue to operate as a separate entity for some time, and Groupon will distribute their events to its 43 million active customers through its email, web, and mobile channels. Founded in 2011, SideTour currently operates in four cities—Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C.—with plans to expand to additional markets over the next few months.


Examples of popular SideTour experiences include: Explore the Epicenter of Graffiti Culture at 5Pointz, Discover a Jazzfest, and Fishfry at a Brooklyn Brownstone.

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