Groupon's Ideel Says It Will Expand Internationally

Online shopping company Ideel said Wednesday (June 10) that it is branching out internationally starting this month, according to a release. Previously, the company had been selling merchandise in Canada, Australia, the U.K., France and Germany.

Groupon bought Ideel (then known as Ideeli) last year for $43 million. The company, based in New York, will take advantage of Groupon’s global audience.

The firm raised roughly $107 million beginning in 2007, with investors ranging from Kodiak Venture Partners to Credit Suisse.

In figures provided at the time of the Groupon buy, the firms said that Ideel made $115 million in revenue during 2013 as a standalone company yet lost about $30 million. The Ideel buy represented Groupon’s first foray into fashion and especially into the category known as flash sales.

Through international expansion, Ideel said its customers also will get a broader range of services, from a brand pantheon now available to consumers outside of the U.S., including Nicole Miller, BCBG, Halston, Diesel, Free People and others. Groupon, for its part, had been expanding its international reach with disparate businesses, including 2014 buys of LivingSocial’s Ticket Monster, which in turn peddles daily deals and goods in South Korea. And Groupon also bought SideTour in autumn of last year, a service that connects travelers who can provide tours of cities internationally.

In addition, payment services now encompass acceptance of locally based credit card payments, mobile capability for international purchases and discounts tied to brands at up to 70 percent. Referring specifically to mobile, Ideel said it would release iPhone, iPad and Android apps to its international audience “in the near future.”

As recently as April, Bloomberg reported that Groupon might look to shed assets in an attempt to focus on eCommerce and among those properties mentioned as being possibly on the block was Ideel.

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