Groupon is a portmanteau derived from the words “group” and “coupon”. It is a web-based business model in which discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies are offered for sale for a period of 24 hours.

After launching in November 2008 in Chicago, the business developed hugely and as of October 2010, Groupon had become established in more than 150 markets in North America and 100 markets in Europe, Asia and South America. It has accumulated around 50 million subscribers, more than $1 billion in venture capital and $760 million in annual revenue to become the fastest-growing web company ever. Last December it even declined a $6 billion buyout offer from Google.

The site has recently launched a mobile application available on Wap, Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Mobile 7. It allows users to purchase deals on their phones and use the screen to present the coupon for use.

Worldwide, there are over 500 similar sites including over 100 in US. However, by December 2010, only one of them, LivingSocial, could be described as a serious competitor. Interestingly, according to a survey of BusinessInsider in March 2010, 72% of people that use Groupon said they subscribe to LivingSocial as well. Other notable firms operating in the same market include BuyWithMe, Plum District, and Saveology.

Hunting out the best deals is truly a global activity: ComScore reports that in April 2011 Groupon received more than 1 million unique visitors (age 15+ and located at home or at work) in 12 markets across the globe. The U.S. saw the largest audience with 10.4 million visitors, followed by France with 3.6 million visitors and Brazil with 2.5 million visitors. In Asia, Japan and Taiwan made the list of the top 10 largest markets for Groupon, reaching nearly 1.6 and 1.2 million visitors respectively.

The strength of deal-of-the-day websites is that they don’t need to be localised. Any on-line business can participate in Groupon’s service around the world. What you need to do to reach a wider audience is have the terms and conditions and marketing information of your products translated into the languages of your potential customers. SanTranslate is here to help you!