x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

LivingSocial snaps up GoNabit

The US-based web giant LivingSocial has acquired the Middle East "daily deals" site GoNabit for an undisclosed sum.

The US-based daily deals website LivingSocial has acquired the Middle East portal GoNabit.

The website offers "group-buying" deals to consumers, ranging from vouchers for restaurants to discounted salon treatments and hotel rooms. Operating in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, the site claims to have saved consumers more than $5 million in the past year.

LivingSocial, which is understood to have acquired 100 per cent of the firm, operates a similar business model, and is the second largest player in the US market after GroupOn.

Dan Stuart, the chief executive and co-founder of GoNabit.com, confirmed that the deal had taken place.

"We'll co-brand our website as GoNabit, a LivingSocial company'," he said.

He declined to specify the value of the deal.

More than a dozen 'group buying' websites operate in the Middle East, including the market-leader GroupOn.

Mr Stuart acknowledged that it was becoming a crowded market, but said that certain players would succeed through scale and good customer service.

"In every part of the world right now, there are people trying to enter this space," he said. "There's really only a couple of companies that operate at any kind of scale in this region"

LivingSocial also said yesterday that it has acquired Ensogo, a deal site in Thailand and the Philippines, and DealKeren, an Ensogo company based in Indonesia. It has also launched operations in the Netherlands.

This brings the total number of countries in which LivingSocial operates to 21, the company said in a statement.

"We are excited to enter the dynamic Asian market and our presence in the Middle East and the Netherlands further strengthens our strategic global efforts to bring LivingSocial values to members across the globe," said Tim O'Shaughnessy, LivingSocial's chief executive and co-founder.

bflanagan@thenational.ae