Catching Up

KFIT Acquires Groupon Malaysia—And It's Really No Big Surprise

After questioning the logic behind launching Fave, an app that seemed redundant in light of what was already available on the market (ie. KFIT), the puzzle pieces have fallen into place.

Many of the more astute would have noted how similar KFIT and its other platform, Fave already are to Groupon.

The news today that Groupon Malaysia has been acquired by KFIT comes as no real surprise.

KFIT’s new deal follows their prolific acquisition of Groupon Indonesia, “…with our Indonesian business achieving nearly 2x growth since our acquisition, we are confident that the same growth principles will bring an exciting new local commerce offering to Malaysia,” said Joel Neoh, Founder of KFIT Group.

Unlike the Indonesian acquisition that retained Groupon’s name, KFIT’s shiny new addition will be integrated into Fave in early 2017.

KFIT will the expand Fave’s offering to also cover restaurants, beauty, wellness, gyms, studios, hotels, holidays, leisure, entertainment and professional services.

Groupon’s acquisition is the last lifeline following reports from Buzzfeed showing that the company has reported a loss almost every quarter since it went public in late 2011.

Image Credit: The Verge
Image Credit: The Verge

Their last Hail Mary was an attempt to streamline their business across countries last year, to better utilise their resources. Evidently their efforts did not yield the results they were hoping for.

Could Fave also suffer the same fate that Groupon did?

For now at least, the outlook does seem sunny for KFIT’s new baby. They are offering the usual platform for businesses to offer competitive pricing, but have seemed to learn from Groupon’s failure to convert deal buyers into loyal customers.

Coded into Fave’s system are loyalty solutions and flexible offer structures utilising the tried and true model of offering deals to loyal customers that Groupon seemingly lacked before.

Fave is also a mobile-first platform. It aims to provide a seamless experience for customers to find, share and enjoy a wide variety of special offers from local businesses, all while customers are able to easily experience what the app has to offer straight from their handheld devices.

Fave on Appstore
Fave on Appstore

As codemyview has observed, the web-first approach may cause the mobile version to come across as a “severely watered down mobile products that feel more like an afterthought than a polished, finished product”.

The mobile-first approach helps offer a clean and streamlined layout for users to browse on their handhelds. Plus, reservations are made directly on the app, which cuts out the additional step of having to call a vendor (like via Groupon).

To their credit, Fave has seen some success. They have listed over 3,200 businesses across the three countries in which the app is available.

They aim to be the top lifestyle app in both Google Play and App Store. While they do have some stiff competition, the combined expertise of Joel’s experience and Malaysia’s growth of online purchasing might just be the push Fave needs to see success where Groupon didn’t.

“We are excited to have KFIT Group steer Groupon Malaysia to even greater heights. With Joel’s experience in leading Groupon Asia Pacific in the past, we are confident that KFIT Group will be able to grow the business. As a strategic partner in KFIT Group, we look forward to seeing the company take big strides in the coming months,” said Michel Piestun, president of APAC for Groupon.

Joel Neoh, Founder of KFit Group.
Joel Neoh, Founder of KFIT Group.

It seems that Groupon has some faith in Joel’s abilities. All we can do now is wait and see if Fave is able to take what Groupon laid down and make lemonade out of Groupon’s lemons.

Feature Image Credit: Original Image From Fave.

 

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