The Future is Meow: Introducing Grøüber

The cat’s out of the bag and behind the wheel.grouber-car

feature-middleToday we proudly announce the debut of Grøüber––a revolutionary new car service with feline drivers that provides people with affordable transportation to their Groupon deals. Using cars with GPS-guided red lasers we signal the correct route to the four-legged kitty captain behind the wheel to make your trip as quick and efficient as possible. And when funds are running low, Grøüber riders save more than just a whisker of cash through fares that only decrease when demand surges.

“We’ve yet to see anyone successfully tackle the transportation-for-hire market, and launching our own service made purrfect sense for Groupon because we have tens of millions of customers looking to redeem deals without having to claw their way through traffic,” said Barnicus Stapleton, feline fleet commander and director of haulage and wellness, Groupon. “And best of all, you can be assured of a peaceful ride because everyone knows that cats have complete indifference towards people.”

How does it work?

  • Step 1: Request a car through the Grøüber mobile app after purchasing your Groupon deal.
  • Step 2: Enjoy a quiet, peaceful ride while your Chauffeur-y Friend stays relentlessly focused on the laser ahead, guiding you to your chosen deal destination.
  • Step 3: That’s it — just thank your adorable driver and be on your way! The trip and driver gratuity are automatically paid for via your Grøüber mobile app. (Additional Catnip tips are accepted only in Colorado and Washington at this time.)

Grøüber will eventually be available in every major U.S. market, and riders can visit www.groupon.com/grouber to download the Grøüber mobile app.

We’re sure fives of people watched the Stossel thing. Had they asked, this is what we’d have said.

It’s disheartening that someone would resort to manipulating the facts to spin up a story that is 100% without merit just to discredit the mayor. Groupon was one of more than 250 companies that applied for and received a tax credit from Governor Quinn and the state of Illinois in 2011. Eric Lefkofsky was a noted supporter of Governor Quinn’s opponent, Bruce Rauner. This grant had nothing to do with politics and had everything to do with creating jobs in the state of Illinois. To allege otherwise is inappropriate and irresponsible.


Thank You for Celebrating Groupon Day

In response to the overwhelming outpour of Groupon’s signature green-themed celebrations the past few days, Groupon has issued a formal announcement of appreciation to the city of Chicago. Beginning on Saturday and through today, Chicagoans painted the entire city Groupon Green — from attire and beverages to turning the Chicago River into an emerald cascade and TWO parades.

“We are both honored and humbled that Chicago, the city we call home, has come together and presented such a heartwarming gesture,” said Barnicus Stapleton, Director of Green Initiatives at Groupon. “We’ve even heard rumors that it might become an annual celebration. Really, it’s just too much. You’re embarrassing us.”

Also, to commemorate the celebration, Groupon has announced that their official company plant is now a clover.

Groupon Names The Most Romantic Cities in America


To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting the cities that take the lead for spectacular shows of affection, and offering everyone the chance to ignite the romance with 20 percent off all local deals in our Valentine’s Day collection today and tomorrow (Feb 9 – Feb 10) with code LOVE20.

Which cities in America have the cuddliest, sappiest center? To find out, we looked at the most date-worthy deal categories and found the places that love them the most.

Top City for Sultry Snapshots: Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Fort Wayne was the city with the highest percentage of boudoir photo-shoot deals
  • Runners-up:
    • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    • Orange County, Calif.
    • Austin, Texas

Top City for Sharing Spaghetti: Springfield, Mass.

  • Springfield was Groupon’s hottest spot for Italian restaurant deals
  • Runners-up:
    • Long Island, N.Y.
    • Boise, Idaho
    • Wilmington, Del.

Top City for Smooching in a Saddle: Huntsville, Ala.

  • In Huntsville, the top city for horseback-riding deals, adventurers take romantic trots up mountains, through the woods and into each other’s hearts
  • Runners-up:
    • Tampa, Fla.
    • Phoenix, Ariz.
    • Ocala, Fla.

Top City for Releasing Tension Together: Charleston, S.C.

  • Spa days in Charleston are often as lovey-dovey as they are relaxing: this city was the number-one spot for couples massage deals (and to get the most out of a shared session, check out this handy guide)
  • Runners-up:
    • Ogden, Utah
    • Savannah, Ga.
    • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Top City for Elevating Your Relationship: Orlando, Fla.

  • Deals for hot-air balloon rides stoked the flames of love in Orlando more than anywhere else
  • Runners-up:
    • Napa, Calif.
    • Lakeland, Fla.
    • Gainesville, Fla.

If romance isn’t on the agenda for this year’s Valentine’s Day, we also packaged together a series of free platonic Valentine’s cards, including messages such as:

  • “I would characterize our interactions as respectful”
  • “Seeing you reminds me that I know you”
  • “I consider you a person I know”
  • More information can be found in the instructional video

 

Groupon Logs 14,355 Volunteer Hours

2014 was a year of ‘firsts’ for Groupon’s Employee Volunteer Program -

  • Set our first official volunteering goal of 10,000 hours

  • Hosted our first Super-Competitive, Very Serious Employee Volunteer-a-thon

  • Created a curriculum around leadership and professional development for our employee volunteers

  • Expanded volunteering into San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle, New York, London and remote locations where employees live and work in addition to the great things being done in Chicago

  • Hosted The GroupHonors, recognizing outstanding employees and celebrating the amazing work done in our communities

  • Launched our partnership with VolunteerMatch

I am honored to announce that Groupon has surpassed expectations to make our greatest impact yet. Almost 2,500 employees rolled up their sleeves, volunteered and helped Groupon log a total of 14,355 hours! Employees across all departments and all offices in North America and the United Kingdom volunteered anywhere from 1 hour to 1,400 hours of their time to support the communities in which Groupon employees live, work, and play; and for that, I am immensely proud to work amongst such passionate individuals who are dedicated to making this world a better place.

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From competitively assembling lunch bags to mentoring students in bubble chairs to transforming an abandoned lot into a public art gallery filled with community members making goofy faces, Groupon employees have done it all. Employees have leveraged their time, talents, and treasures over the last year to support the amazing work being done by 248 different non-profit organizations. The passion and dedication of our employee volunteers has allowed us to set the bar even higher as we enter a new year.

I am thrilled to announce yet another big, hairy, audacious goal of … drumroll please … 20,000 hours of volunteering in 2015! I cannot wait to see all of the amazing work that will be done in 2015, as Groupon employees continue to support local communities and truly make life less boring.

Alicia Koch, Program Coordinator – Employee & Community Engagement, Social Innovation at Groupon

EOY2014 external

 


Groupon Gives 2014 – #GivingTuesday

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On October 6, Groupon’s President of North America, Rich Williams, joined other #GivingTuesday leaders at The White House to discuss building momentum for the movement. We were inspired by what we heard and are excited to share our 2014 plans—our biggest commitment yet!

founding member of #GivingTuesday—a day following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday that’s globally dedicated to giving back during the holiday season—Groupon has promoted the movement since its 2012 inception. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, we will continue in that spirit by launching campaigns for four nonprofit organizations, proudly promoting their work by matching subscriber donations up to $100,000. Together, these organizations are leading the way in economic development, educational funding, community engagement, and HIV/AIDS research.

  • Kiva: Kiva works to alleviate poverty and support self-sufficiency by connecting individual donors with entrepreneurs around the world through microlending. Since the organization was founded in 2005, Kiva lenders have funded more than $640 million in loans, and global entrepreneurs have maintained a 98.8% repayment rate. Groupon will match each $25 contribution up to $25,000 total, providing lenders with $50 to support the entrepreneur of their choice on Kiva.org.

  • DonorsChoose.org: DonorsChoose.org envisions a nation where children in every community have access to the tools and experiences necessary for a great education. The organization directly connects donors with teachers and classrooms in public schools across the US, allowing them to fund projects in a simple, accountable, and personal way. Groupon will match each $10 donation up to $25,000, providing users with $20 to support the classroom or educator of their choice at DonorsChoose.org.

  • ioby: ioby empowers individuals and communities to make positive change in their own neighborhoods by funding and leading local projects. With a name derived from the opposite of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), ioby empowers leaders to engage their communities and strengthen their neighborhood in their figurative—or literal—backyard. Groupon will match each $10 donation up to $25,000 total, providing users with $20 to support the local project of their choice on ioby.org.

  • Broadway Cares: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has been at the forefront of the fight against AIDS for more than two decades, raising more than $250 million to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses have access to the medications and support they need. For this campaign–which is running in 10 countries to help push the #GivingTuesday mantra outside of the United States–, we partnered with Broadway Cares supporter and two-time Tony Award–winner Hugh Jackman. Each $10 donation will automatically enter contributors into a sweepstakes* for a chance to win a trip for two to New York City, plus VIP tickets to Broadway’s The River and a post-show meet-and-greet with the star, Hugh Jackman himself. Groupon will match all donations up to $25,000.

GivingTuesdayVisit our #GivingTuesday page and help share the message!

As an anchor institution in Chicago, Groupon will continue to lead the city’s involvement in the #GivingTuesday movement, building on the momentum established in 2012, 2013, and 2014 when we hosted #GivingTuesday meetings with Chicago’s top philanthropic leaders. This year, in collaboration with Donors Forum, a leading membership association for philanthropy and nonprofits, Groupon will also help promote #ILGiveBig, a statewide initiative to raise $12 million from 100,000 total donors in one day. Groupon encouraged Chicagoland companies to get on board with this initiative on December 2 and is promoting #ILGiveBig to the Chicago market.

Groupon is committed to pushing the #GivingTuesday message, and we hope you’ll join us this holiday season. While checking Groupon first for the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, join us in giving back starting on #GivingTuesday, December 2!


Groupon to Remain Open the Entire Day on Thanksgiving Because it’s a Website

Screen_ShotFor the sixth straight year Groupon is open all 24 hours on Thanksgiving Day

Groupon is announcing that, for the sixth consecutive year, it’s remaining open for holiday shopping the entire day of Thanksgiving.

“As I mentioned last year, I’m not quite sure what’s different here,” said Groupon spokesperson, Barnicus Stapleton, Groupon’s Director of General Productivity. “Yes, this will be the sixth year running that we stay open the whole day — though we’re a website, so technically we do this every day.”

By being open on Thanksgiving Day, and also every other day of the year, Groupon hopes to inspire its customers to check Groupon first for great gift ideas instead of climbing in a car and driving to a crowded store full of people they don’t even know, especially if it’s starting to get kind of cold outside.

Groupon’s extensive internal data indicates that families that do their shopping from the couch — free of lines and that one guy from your daughter’s school who is always ahead of you in line and who you hate — save more than just dollars; they also save on tantrums, potential frostbite and/or sunstroke and the occasional trampling.

“Seriously, you people call me every year, and I keep telling you that nothing’s changed,” added Stapleton. “Completely shutting down the website and mobile apps for just one day would be an enormous undertaking and terrible for pretty much everyone involved.”

Groupon Customers can find thousands of great holiday deals on everything from the hottest toys, high-end apparel and great local experiences in the Groupon Holiday Shop.

Donate to Your Local Food Bank This Thanksgiving

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In 2013, more than 49 million Americans—including 15.8 million children—were food-insecure, meaning they didn’t always know where their next meal was coming from. These people often had to stretch their paychecks to cover rent, transportation, and medicine, sometimes deciding between one necessity, such as heat, or another, such as food.

Thanksgiving kicks off the season of, well, giving. We’re happy to support local food banks so everyone can help fight end hunger together. Your donation of $10 goes a long way.

Placemaking, Community Development and Corporate Responsibility

Parking spots or People Spots?  Blank walls or murals?  Car traffic or foot traffic?  As cities continue to grow, these questions push the creative and effective utilization of public spaces to the forefront.  In response, government agencies, business associations and community groups across the country have embraced creative placemaking as a tool to mobilize communities and develop local economies.

Placemaking exists both in practice and philosophy, making it difficult to communicate an agreed upon definition and implementation strategy.  According to Peter Skosey, executive vice president at Metropolitan Planning Council, “It’s easy to see the block party, but it’s not easy to see the foundations of a more participatory community being laid.” Continue Reading

Groupon Acquires Swarm Mobile

Today we’re happy to announce we’ve acquired Swarm Mobile, a San Francisco-based company that provides an analytics and customer engagement platform for brick-and-mortar retail businesses.

Founded in 2012 by Rudd Davis and Ryan Denehy, Swarm is a pioneer in the retail analytics space, developing a line of smart devices utilizing Bluetooth, infrared and Wi-Fi technology. Merchants use Swarm’s data analytics and customer relationship management tools to drive sales and create closer, long-term relationships with consumers. At Groupon, the Swarm team will put those assets to work enhancing our Local Commerce Platform and Merchant Operating System.

The more merchants understand about consumer shopping habits, the more customers benefit through specialized offers, tailored notifications and the opportunity to provide real-time feedback.  We’re excited to have Swarm join us in our mission to connect local commerce.

Swarm’s team will join our MOS organization in San Francisco and will continue to develop its product portfolio and partner roster, including integrations with a number of leading point-of-sale providers.