On Monday, visitors to The Dealmap, a site that posts aggregated deals, discounts, and coupons to a local map, were greeted with a banner announcing that it had been purchased by Google for an undisclosed sum.
While Google is playing it typically close to the vest, all signs point to the search giant using The Dealmap's talent and technology to bolster its fledgling Google Offers deals site.
The official The Dealmap blog entry explaining the acquisition to customers is full of enthusiasm about the startup's future with Google:
We believe Google provides the ideal platform to help us accelerate our growth and fulfill our mission. We’re passionate about helping people save money while having great local experiences, and in Google we’ve found the perfect partner that shares this passion, as well as our vision and strategy. We believe that joining Google will help us innovate in new and unexplored areas of commerce.
With a launch in May of 2010, The Dealmap racked up some impressive milestones in the scant year-plus before this acquisition. The Dealmap boasted two million users, with another eighty-five million visitors by way of its partner network.
The Dealmap even powered Microsoft's Bing Deals, thanks to a strategic partnership. At the time of writing, it looks like Bing Deals is still accessible from m.bing.com, though it's unclear if it's still using The Dealmap under the hood.
"For the time being," The Dealmap still plans to support its current users and API-using partners, and many probably won't notice any difference right away. The first change, though, is that new deals have to be submitted via Google Offers. The company is promising to keep customers in the loop as the transition to Google's management progresses.
Currently, the Groupon-style Google Offers is only active in Portland, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. And while Google's only official statement so far has been to express optimism for The Dealmap's capability to further develop its commerce solutions, it seems a natural fit for the startup to help Google Offers expand its reach during this fledgling stage.
In fact, The Dealmap was already using Google Maps to display its local deals.
Between The Dealmap and Punchd, Google is showing a definite willingness to invest in the success of Google Offers. The only question is whether or not these acquisition gambles will pay off.