You’ve heard about the Groupon clone with cool social motivation features (HomeRun), and the Groupon clone with a patent portfolio (Tippr), and the Groupon clone that’s already raised funding three times this year (LivingSocial). But now entrepreneurs are drilling down into ways to make local coupons more personalized and relevant.
Juice in the City, which went live this week, is a Groupon for mothers. The site describes itself as such:
Launched the day after Mother’s Day 2010 because neither of us got a damn thing we really wanted, Juice in the City aims to bring moms what they really want: insanely good deals on crazy-fun things to do. We are not simple people. We like to breastfeed in public and also go hip hop dancing in tight shirts. We like to do arts and crafts with our kids and also spice up our lives with “Jersey Shore” girls nights in spray tanning parties. Oh, and we love a good massage, wine tasting, meal out on the town, or wacky adventure with the family. We never, ever, turn down a good time. You shouldn’t have to, either.
Moms and commerce 2.0 are a great match — it’s clearly a demographic that spends money both on themselves and their families. In that vein, Totsy and Zulily are private online sales for kids’ stuff. San Mateo, Calif.-based Juice in the City is just getting started, with deals in the San Francisco Bay Area and funding from Tandem Entrepreneurs. Deals will be a mix of activities moms can do with kids, personal recharging, date nights and girls’ nights, said co-founder Sarah Eisner. Today’s coupon is for a local spa, and tomorrow’s will be for a dance class for moms.
Meanwhile, Offermatic, which learns about its users by monitoring their spending, is set to launch Monday. After members volunteer their credit or debit card information, Offermatic determines what sort of local deals they might be interested in. So if your credit card shows you frequently go to the Chipotle near your office to get a burrito for lunch, Offermatic might give you coupons for other Mexican restaurants in that general geographic area.
Though automatically importing credit card information (this is done through Yodlee) might seem similar to Blippy and Swipely, Offermatic CEO Faisal Qureshi said he’s after something different. “We’re not into social shopping — whatever that is,” he said. “Blippy and Swipely are turning spending into conversations. We’re turning your spending into savings.”
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Offermatic, which is also kicking off with deals in the San Francisco Bay Area, will only ever email users when coupons come through that might appeal to them. The company plans to sell directly to merchants, though it doesn’t have a sales team yet. It’s kicking off with two core categories: dining and health.
I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be easier for me to just sign up and explicitly say I like sushi and yoga, but Qureshi thinks the benefit of his automated system is that it will learn over time. Offermatic is also incentivizing users to share their credit card information by paying up to $15 annually per card registered. You only get the cash if you actually use the credit card 20 times or spend at least $1,000 per month, though.
Qureshi attested that he has been “flooded” with investment interest, and he plans to close an angel round of up to $1 million soon.
In a sea of collective buying clones it definitely makes sense to take a more targeted approach. But what befuddles me is that both Juice in the City and Offermatic seem to be planning to send me yet more coupons for massage parlors and nail salons. That’s exactly what Groupon already does!
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