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Google (s goog) has snapped up The Dealmap, an aggregator of nearby shopping deals, in an acquisition that furthers its Google Offers ambitions. The purchase, whose price was not disclosed, shows that Google is proceeding even without its unsuccessful $6 billion bid for Groupon last year.
The Dealmap allows users to see local deals from more than 150 sources on a map. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has attracted more than two million users and generated more than 85 million monthly visitors for its partners. The Dealmap has distribution agreements with more than 50 partners including Microsoft (s msft), CityGrid, Local.com, MerchantCircle, MyPoints, Savings.com, SuperMedia, and T-Mobile.
The company said in a blog post that it chose to be acquired by Google because they share a desire to help save people money and that the search giant is equipped to help accelerate The Dealmap’s growth. For now, it looks like the company will continue to aggregate deals for its partners and provide its core services to users. But we’ll have to find out the long-term plans when the integration work is completed.
The interesting thing will be to see how The Dealmap affects Google’s local deal service Google Offers. It’s an important priority for the company that’s being paired with its near field communication Google Wallet product. As the service expands to more cities, Google will have to show it can continue to source a good volume of deals and maintain engagement with users. The Dealmap was popular for helping people find and discover local deals, and it seems like that experience should be helpful in building a better local discount offering. It was able to get a pull together a lot of deals: more than 400,000 deals and $10 million in savings available each day. That will be important to ensure that Google Offers scales well.
You need to get a good amount of deals to keep people coming back, and they have to be relevant and easy to access for users. Right now, Google Offers is still rolling out with more of a daily deal approach. But as Living Social and Groupon move toward more real-time instant deals, Google will need to step up and get more deals going in a more timely manner.
The Dealmap pick-up won’t address all the challenges ahead for Google, but it’s a sign that it’s still investing in this area and it’s also keeping a good start-up out of the hands of competitors. I thought Microsoft might want to buy the Dealmap after partnering with it for Bing Deals. Now, it’s up to Google to get the most out of its new deal acquisition. It’s not Groupon, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.