Groupon Wants to Take You Places

You can't say that Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN  ) is slow on the Uptake.

The daily deals leader is snapping social travel research specialist Uptake.com. Terms of the deal haven't been made public, though sources tell AllThingsD's Liz Gannes that it's in the "teens" of millions.

Groupon's a beefy company. With 637.8 million shares outstanding after November's IPO, we're looking at a company approaching a market cap in the "teens" of billions. Why is a deal valued at a little more than 0.1% of Groupon worth evaluating? Well, it's really all about what Groupon can do with Uptake's staff and technology.

Uptake gives travel planning a social bent. If you know where you want to go, Uptake can scour your Facebook connections for those that have been there. Instead of blindly asking a question as a status update that may largely go unnoticed on Facebook, Uptake digs into uploaded snapshots and earlier status messages from your friends and family members. Users of the free site can then cross-check those references with Uptake's online travel library.

Uptake claims that it helped more than 30 million travelers research their trips last year.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Groupon stands to gain here. If it knows where someone's going, why not offer up some of the daily deals being offered?

Travel and flash sales are a good match. There's a reason why travel deals publisher Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO  ) is one of the few niche-specific websites that's still on the daily deals bandwagon. Did you catch priceline.com's (Nasdaq: PCLN  ) quarterly report earlier this week? The "Name Your Own Price" specialist saw its revenue climb 36% over the past year.

Groupon is no stranger to travel. It's been teaming up with Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE  ) for Groupon Getaways since last summer. Acquiring Uptake.com -- whether it keeps the popular site going or simply incorporates the concept into its own site -- won't change that, but it will make securing leads cheaper if it aims just right.

If you want to follow the daily deals leader to see if it becomes a bargain itself, add Groupon to My Watchlist.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Travelzoo. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of priceline.com and Travelzoo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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