Groupon acquires Presence AI for an undisclosed sum

9 Aug 2019338 Views

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The Groupon homepage on a laptop screen. Image: Casimiro_PT/Depositphotos

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The purchase was Groupon’s first public acquisition of the year, after it snapped up Vouchercloud for $65m in 2018.

On Thursday (8 August), Groupon announced that it has acquired AI-powered text and voice communications tool Presence AI. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

San Francisco-based Presence AI offers a 24/7 business assistant, which enables messaging between customers and merchants. It can be integrated with a merchant’s existing scheduling software to accept and manage bookings, provide instant answers to customer questions, and remind people when it’s time to re-book, among other features.

Founded in 2015, Presence AI operates in the health, beauty and wellness space, which is one of Groupon’s largest categories. Last year, Presence AI attracted $20,000 in seed funding, with Amazon’s Alexa Fund serving as one of the investors.

Groupon’s chief product officer, Sarah Butterfass, said: “We’re pleased to welcome the Presence AI team and their booking technology to Groupon … Presence AI’s technology is very complementary to what we’ve been building into our existing booking experience and will accelerate our roadmap with its text- and chat-based interface.”

Presence AI co-founder and CEO Michel Meyer added: “We’re very excited to join Groupon and continue transforming client conversations through the use of artificial intelligence. With more than 3m text messages generated last year, Presence AI is saving merchants time and generating additional revenues. We can’t wait to bring our technology to more businesses.”

The purchase was Groupon’s first public acquisition of 2019, after it snapped up Vouchercloud for $65m in May 2018.

Chicago-headquartered Groupon reported increasing its bookable inventory by 12pc year on year, and said that it has booked tens of millions of concerts, dinners, spa visits and other activities for its customers in the past year. In April, the company announced that it had hit 200m app downloads.

Groupon has the third-most visited retail app in the US, behind Amazon and Walmart, and the sixth-highest rated iOS app of all time. The company said that more than 80pc of customers who shop with the e-commerce giant do so via a mobile device.

The Groupon homepage on a laptop screen. Image: Casimiro_PT/Depositphotos

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com