Over a dozen group buying sites have mushroomed in the Philippines over the last year. Some are local start-ups while others are borne from neighboring countries like Singapore and Hong Kong. Big ticket player Groupon hasn’t really penetrated this part of Asia until news broke out early this week.
In a surprise move to enter the Asian market, Groupon bought a bunch of local start-ups — AtlasPost in Taiwan, uBuyiBuy in Hong Kong and Beeconomic in Singapore. The Philippines was also in the pool but reports did not indicate which local start-up it bought.
We have tons of Groupon clones that have launched in the Philippines this year. There’s Buyanihan and CashCashPinoy who are front-runners. A couple more like Presyong Patok and Awesome.ph have yet to be launched but are already doing some promotional campaigns.
To my surprise, none of them were snatched up by Groupon to become the official label for Groupon Philippines. That distinction also went to Beeconomic (which is Singapore-based but has local presence). In the same news report on Wednesday, Groupon also launched Groupon Hong Kong, Groupon Singapore, Groupon Philippines and Groupon Taiwan.
Groupon’s global network has more than 33 million subscribers in 35 countries. It’s already a relatively huge brand and has been also recently rumored to be acquired by Google.
With the introduction of Groupon Philippines, it will probably spoil any plans of other discount sites to formally launch while established ones will have some pretty serious competition. In any case, it will be interesting to see which start-up prevails and get the bigger piece of the market. Online buyers will have more choices and discounts to pile on.