March 31, 2012
Fill in the blank. Cluster ____. The reason you were able to arrive at this answer so easily, likely has something to do with your inbox. Over the last couple of years, daily deals have only compounded this problem. First it was Groupon and Living Social, then Google got in the mix, then so did everyone else (more than 500 as of now). Not only does locating the best deal(s) require an excessive amount of time, many of them are missed because they’re deleted before being read or are filtered straight into SPAM.
Dealupa solves both of these problems, while adding the missing ingredient of context.
The Y Combinator-backed, Silicon Valley-based startup curates all of the top daily deal sites into one single daily e-mail using a “patent-pending DealRank technology” based on quality and relevance (indicated by your chosen preferences during signup).
Good idea, right? It gets better. Dealupa is the first daily deals service to incorporate Yelp reviews alongside the venue’s special to ensure that you’re not paying for discounted garbage.
“We found with the deal space was that the deal sites often didn’t have an incentive to tell us how good the quality of the deal was, so we thought it would be really useful for users to see the Yelp rating of businesses. There might be a restaurant you’ve never heard of with a 50% off deal, but if you see that 250 people have given it a 4.5 star rating, then you’ll probably be a lot more confident about trying out the place. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, some deal sites have sold deals to very low quality places. The other day I saw a spa deal that over 400 people purchased. The deal site didn’t show the rating, but we did, and it was only 1.5 stars,” says Dealupa co-founder, Vijay Boyapati.
But if daily deals are starting to lose steam, what chance does a site like Dealupa stand? “There’s a lot of talk about deal fatigue and the potential demise of deals. We don’t believe deals are going to go away, but that the real problem has been showing the right deal to the right person,” says Boyapati.
The Dealupa team is banking on intelligent targeting as being the future of deals. With both Boyapati and fellow co-founder Sanjay Mavinkurve having extensive backgrounds working at Google, they have the necessary experience to target intelligently. Boyapati adds, “I personally worked on the machine learning technology that drove Google News.”
Starting Up vs. Working at Google
I was curious what Boyapati’s take was on the difference between working for a company that oversees roughly 30,000 employees, and founding a small startup. Here’s what he had to say:
Probably the biggest difference is that we can execute on ideas much, much faster than Google. At Google if you want to build a feature, you have to get it ok’d by user interface people, product managers and management. If we want to build a new feature, we wake up in the morning, code it up, then launch it by the afternoon. There is just way less bureaucracy involved.
What do you think? Would you use a service like Dealupa? Or have you already exceeded your daily deal threshold? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Dealupa was one of the recently launched startups at Y Combinator Demo Day 2012.
Photo credit: CNET
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