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Foodspotting spots daily deals with Scoutmob

Foodspotting, the app for finding and rating restaurant dishes, is getting in on the daily deals action. The San Francisco startup plans to announce Tuesday that it is hooking up with Atlanta-based local daily deals purveyor Scoutmob. It’s the first partnership for Scoutmob, and a sign that Foodspotting is testing the waters of the boiling-hot daily deals space.

Starting Tuesday in 13 major U.S. cities, users of Foodspotting’s iOS (s aapl) app will automatically see local deals from Scoutmob when they search for dishes that are nearby. Those cities are: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C.

The Foodspotting crew went with Scoutmob because they like their philosophy better than those of other daily deals companies, according to co-founder Ted Grubb. Scoutmob “believes that the ability to stumble onto a deal is a little more interesting than buying deals up front,” he said in an interview last week, seemingly drawing a distinction between Scoutmob and other group-buying sites like Groupon, Living Social and Yelp’s (now scaled back) Deals.Scoutmob coupons, which generally range from 50 percent to 100 percent off, reverses the process that Groupon or LivingSocial users are probably used to by now. Rather than being offered a deal for a restaurant via e-mail, buying it, and having to remember to use it, this doesn’t require much advance planning. Scoutmob works best with Foodspotting, according to Grubb, because “you discover deals as you’re trying to find food.”
Though Foodspotting is trying out this feature because they have an inkling their users will like it, Grubb also indicated that Foodspotting is very interested in learning more about the business of daily deals, potentially for more future opportunities. Said Grubb:

The deal space is something that’s exploding right now. There’s going to be a shakeout, so before we go full steam, we really want to understand it and see how our users react to it. Whether it’s creating our own deals–we don’t have a salesforce, but we’re very user experience and research-driven, so we want to understand the landscape before we make any decisions. For Scoutmob, they want to know what distributing their deals looks like.

Foodspotting launched in early 2010, and has more than 1.5 million downloads of the app and 800,000 reviews and photos uploaded since then. The Scoutmob partnership is available for iOS users only right now, though Grubb said to expect the Android version to roll out in “about a week.”

To learn more about high-engagement apps, the connection between mobile, social and location, and much more, don’t forget to sign up for Mobilize 2011, which runs September 26 and 27 in San Francisco.

2 Responses to “Foodspotting spots daily deals with Scoutmob”

  1. Lauren Mascherin

    The daily deals are huge! For foodspotting, who doesn’t love to eat and to eat for great deal is wonderful for this economy. If people are excited about eating for a great deal. I found another site that gave me a great deal on the latest sporting equipment, If i’m going to eat for a great deal, I want to work it off with a great deal too:)