Coupon Comeback: The New Slimline DailyDeal Finally Breaks Even

By David Knight |

Who says couponing is dead? After a turbulent history that has seen rapid growth, acquisition by Google, founder reacquisition and a paring back of operations, DailyDeal has finally, after more than five years, recorded a break-even month. The company – which was founded, sold and then bought back by the Heilemann brothers – reported that it was in the black for October 2014.

Describing the feat as having been its most important objective, the company is now aiming to make a net profit for the first time in 2015 on growth of 5-10 percent.

“The buyback, with the subsequent remodelling and extensive optimisation in many areas of the company over the past 20 months, has paid off,” said Fabian Heilemann.

Having sold DailyDeal to Google in September 2011 for a reported $114 million as the tech giant looked to compete with Groupon, the brothers bought it back in February last year. Fabian has since spoken of how frustrated they had been working as managers rather than entrepreneurs, while Google began to rethink its strategy on couponing.

After buying DailyDeal back, they restructured the company, including selling the sluggish Swiss business and retreating from unprofitable markets. From a high of around 200 employees, some 60 people now work in the two DailyDeal offices in Germany and Austria. The significantly reduced costs, stable revenues and moderately higher margins all worked together to put DailyDeal – now a part of the Heilemanns’ company builder Sky & Sand – into the black.