Daily deal aggregrator and online storehouse DealsGoRound today announced a change in branding and direction, as it becomes MyCabbage, a tool more broadly aimed at providing a web- and mobile-based wallet for collecting, organizing and sharing deals, gift cards and coupons of all stripes. The idea is to make sure that all these items aren’t forgotten, but also to provide a venue for deals discovery, sharing with friends, and also the opportunity to sell things you won’t use for free via the MyCabbage marketplace.
Alongside the rebrand, MyCabbage is also announcing a new round Series A round of funding, totalling $950,000 from Lightbank, I2A, New World Ventures and a number of angel investors. Petersen said the money has been used to “expand the product, rebrand and update the technology” as well as more aggressively pursue user acquisition.
MyCabbage works by allowing users to enter gift card codes, generally printed on the back of each card, link accounts from Groupon and LivingSocial, and also take photos or link to websites where coupons are located. It keeps track of expiry dates and sends alerts, and optionally allows users to sign up for notifications of upcoming deals that fit with their interests based on past stored coupons. The sharing features work via Facebook, letting users share to that social network when they save and send invitations to others on MyCabbage. Part of the idea is that people will save together, creating events and sending calendar invites around specific deals.
The change in direction is not an extreme one for DealsGoRound, but it does shift it away from being directly tied to the success of the daily deals industry, which seems to have plateaued and is currently undergoing a lot of upheaval. MyCabbage CEO Kris Petersen told BetaKit in an interview that the change in direction was actually in the works well before Groupon began hitting rough waters, however.
“This has been in motion for months [...] we sort of knew back when this train was started was that it not only made sense to look at other verticals, but the pace of growth in the daily deals space can’t possibly continue,” he said. “So we know there’s going to be some shrinkage there, we know there’s going to be some acquisitions and the industry is not going to keep up at the same pace, so let’s hedge our bets and get into some other things, but that was a natural part of the conversation [...] But we still would’ve done this even if Groupon was going gangbusters.”
The new direction seems like it could also put MyCabbage on a collision course with some industry heavyweights, however, including Apple and Google. Both recently introduced wallet- or digital storehouse-type features which are designed to house and aggregate coupons (Apple’s Passbook, and to some varying extent, Google Wallet and Google Now), but Petersen says that he believes his company is doing something very different, and that there may be opportunities to work with those new solutions, rather than having to fight against them.
“At our core, we’re not looking to get into the payment space, and we’re not looking for you to take MyCabbage with your phone to the merchant and that’s how you pay,” he said. “What we’re looking at is the social discovery aspect of coupons, and the geolocation aspect of coupons, anything that satisfies the needs of this new community of users that doesn’t do anything without a discount, that’s what we’re trying to do.” Passbook isn’t about payments either, however; it’s about reminding users when they can use deals or coupons they might have given geofenced limits, which does sound like it could encroach on MyCabbage territory.