In Ukraine, its clones are helping many people move closer to enjoying the same lifestyle they had before the economic crisis. Globally, this startup is about surprise and saving money.
The buzz is about Groupon, the Internet merchant based in Chicago, which sells discounted deals for various services, from restaurants to bungee jumping.
The basic idea is simple: Websites offer their subscribers 50 percent or more discount off a sushi dinner or spa treatment, but the deal only kicks in once a certain number of people have bought into it. The business gets free exposure, if not extra revenue. The customers get deals. Groupon or the knock-off firms that broker the deals get their cut of the action.
As inflation continues its relentless pounding on pocketbooks, many people are cutting down their expenses, helping push the popularity of these online discount and deal-of-the-day warehouses.