Can Offermatic Deal With Groupon?

The automatic deals site's new tech brings an expanded platform. As of this moment, Google has not offered $6 billion to buy it.

Offermatic, the site that gives money-saving deals to consumers automatically through their credit cards, gets a significant update today. The site, which opened to the public last month, will now be offering more deals with more merchants, and has added a tiered structure whereby users can progress to deals with higher savings.

Offermatic has an enticing model--it enables its users to save money almost automatically, without the use of coupons, codes, or vouchers. Since users register a credit card to the site, merchants are able to very specifically target customers who are currently shopping at their rival's store, or who don't by their product at all. And though it may sound creepy to give out access to your spending history, the back-end is all powered by the well-regarded Yodlee, which similarly makes Mint.com work.

Once you register your credit card, you'll periodically get emails announcing offers. You go to the site, click the offer that interests you, and it's essentially "loaded" on your credit card, meaning if you buy the given product within a certain amount of time with that card, your discount is automatically applied.

Since last month's launch, CEO Faisal Qureshi says the company has been doing well. He's not putting an exact number on users, but claims that he will have "hundreds of thousands" within months. To make saving money yet more enticing, the new incarnation of Offermatic adds what he calls "game mechanics." Log on as a Level-1 user, and your dashboard will present a few offers--a $5 automatic rebate at Safeway, say. But as you accrue points--which you earn by adding credit cards or referring friends to the site--you can "level up" to better deals. To entice you, those $10 and $20 deals on the horizon are depicted onscreen with a tantalizing padlock icon, like an Angry Birds level you're eager to progress to. Sure, as far as its "game mechanics" go, Offermatic isn't about to oust Angry Birds--but the difference is that you're basically getting paid to play.

To highlight the strength of his model, Qureshi brings up the story, epic in online deals circle's, of the Gap Groupon. In August, Groupon offered a national deal with Gap--$25 for $50 in purchases. Four-hundred forty thousand people signed up. That might seem like a triumph (and certainly was, for Groupon and the consumers who scooped up discounted chinos.) But there was no way for Gap to be sure it was luring new customers, rather than just forking over free money to existing ones. One analyst called this "when NOT to use a Groupon" (from a merchant's perspective).

"We only send new, non-existing customers," Quereshi tells Fast Company. "We're really bringing the hypertargeting of Google AdWords into the real world."

Since he seems to be positioning himself as a pugnacious rival to Groupon, it seemed only fitting to ask: Would he accept a $6 billion offer from Google for his company?

He laughs, and launches into a professional, in-it-for-the-work, spiel. "We're a pretty young company. We have something that we think could work extremely well, but we want to stay level-headed and execute the plan. If we do that, sure, there'll be opportunities to have those discussions."

Then he thinks a moment. "That's a pretty big number though."

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