Groupon’s IPO filing last month revealed just how quickly the market for daily deals has exploded in the United States. And since an appetite for bargains knows no borders, the Chicago-based company has expressed a keen interest in expanding abroad to fuel its future revenue growth. But Groupon is running into some increasingly stiff competition in its ventures abroad.
Take Peixe Urbano. The Latin American daily deals company has amassed a user base of more than 11 million subscribers since its launch in March 2010, co-founder Alex Tabor said in an interview last week. And according to him, the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based company has no plans to stop there.
“Brazil as a country is growing very quickly and the amount of investment here is surging,” Tabor said. “We have a booming sector in the tech industry.” That environment also means that while Peixe Urbano is currently Brazil’s daily deals leader, it has no time to rest on its laurels. “We have a lot of competition, so we have to keep running at full pace.”
To that end, Peixe Urbano now has 750 employees and is hiring rapidly, recruiting project managers from as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area. Peixe Urbano has steadily expanded its footprint to cover more than 60 cities in its native Brazil and Argentina, and the company has near-term plans to expand into other locations in Latin America such as Mexico.
This week Peixe Urbano announced it has signed a deal to use Message Systems’ digital messaging platform to handle its massive daily email needs. At present, the company sends more than 20 million emails every day, most of them before 5:00 AM, Tabor said. Being able to send emails reliably and safely is a hugely important part of Peixe Urbano’s business, since some 60 percent of its sales come directly from its emails alone.
All that growth has not flown under the radar of tech industry investors. Peixe Urbano raised $7.86 million outside capital in January 2011, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. That funding round was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital and Brazilian VC Monashees. TechCrunch reported in May that Peixe took on additional funding in May from General Atlantic and Tiger Global Management, but regulatory documents regarding that round have not turned up on the SEC’s online database.
Groupon already has developed a strong hold on Latin America, according to data released earlier this month by Comscore. But Peixe Urbano controls a solid portion of the South American market and has made no secret of its plans to grow. And if the past year has been any indication of its ambition, Peixe Urbano is not the kind of company to give up market share without a fight.
Here is a screenshot of a recent deal on Peixe Urbano (click to expand):