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Groupon buys its way into the Philippines

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.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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15 Responses

  1. Elbert says:

    In order for the local companies to compete, they should added features such as SMS notifications.

  2. Kim Roa Endaya says:

    I wonder if couppie.com is under Groupon?

    I just heard about it recently.

  3. kang says:

    it’s beeconomic, saw it from an ad in facebook

  4. It’s just starting here, Groupon will be big but Beeconomic has just started literally here in the Philippines so they have some ways to go. This whole thing only started in September really so its anyone’s market.

    Etreet just launched also.

    BTW in response to the first message, Awesome.PH has SMS couponing and alerting :)

    AFAIK all these companies are just copying groupon. They need to do more than just that to stand out and that’s we are doing at Awesome.PH

    PS. The HiSense deal is still coming, got delayed unfortunately, but it will be featured very soon.

  5. rsa1 says:

    i’m using ensogo.com.ph

  6. Elbert says:

    In response to Andre,

    Just be sure to track and shorten your SMS urls to maximize the effectiveness. ;)

  7. blankPixels says:

    @Elbert: Buyanihan has SMS notifications. But, I don’t get it all the time.

    I can’t wait for Groupon to launch here. I just love this group coupon sites. I guess who gets ahead is the site that brings in the best merchants.

  8. ben says:

    if you want masahe at tsibog, sa cashcashpinoy ka na, all they have are the two, spa at boufet!

  9. Aside from CashCashPinoy and Buyanihan, I’ve also listed some more here — http://www.glennong.com/2010/11/deal-or-no-deal-five-sites-that-will.html

  10. CityVille says:

    GROUPON will somehow be a big buying company here in the Philippines.

    Actually, i don’t have any background about this company.

  11. Mark says:

    is this Groupon Philippines or just a clone?



  12. Carla says:

    ensogo has sms notification. you can use it as a voucher :)

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