Fabian and Ferry Heilemann have bought back coupon platform DailyDeal from Google less than 18 months after selling it for a reported $114 million. The brothers founded the Groupon clone in Berlin in 2009, and after rumours had spread in recent weeks they wrote on their website today that they “will now continue on their own” as well as promising to expand the business in the coming months.
DailyDeal operates in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and was intended to help Google Offers expand internationally after the Internet giant saw a reported €6 billion bid for Groupon turned down at a time when the daily deal space was seen as one of the hottest in the digital world.
Since then, however, doubts have started to emerge about the long term sustainability of the space. Now it seems the Heilemann brothers want to take DailyDeal down a different path. The statement reads in full:
“We are pleased to inform you today that we as founders and managing directors have bought the company DailyDeal back from Google and will now continue to lead it on our own. DailyDeal will of course continue to offer the same service and exciting offers – exactly as we have done in the past. In addition, we will expand the business in the coming months. In the name of the DailyDeal team we thank all of our users, business partners and colleagues for their loyalty and support over the last three years. We are very much looking forward to what lies ahead of us!”
According to Deutsche Startups, Google reportedly tried to wind DailyDeal up a few weeks ago which would have seen all the employees lose their job, before the brothers stepped in to save their creation. But the blog argues that Google’s withdrawal – and its failure to make the deal a success – will be a bitter blow to the startup scene in Berlin and across Germany.
In response to a request from Silicon Allee, a spokesman for DailyDeal said: “In the future, we will continue pursuing couponing as a business model and expanding our strong market position. With 31,000 deals and 4.6 million coupons sold summing up to a total value of 260 million euros, DailyDeal has evolved to a leading couponing portal in D-A-CH in the last three years. Within the last year we have grown by 25 percent compared to 2011.
“Building on the existing assets (such as employees, customer base, merchant pool), we will also develop other sustainable business models.The latter will be presented to you within the next few weeks.
“Despite the change in ownership, DailyDeal will continue to be solidly financed just as before.”