Groupon has purchased flash sales site Ideeli for an appropriately deep discounted price. The Chicago-based website, which is pivoting away from its famous daily deal model, plopped down $43 million in cash today for the unprofitable retail site.
For the time being, Ideeli will operate as a separate website and maintain its New York headquarters. It’s unclear how many of its 150 employees will be retained. (When Betabeat reached out for comment from Groupon, we were pointed to its FAQ that only said it was “confident we will retain key talent.”)
The purchase will help Groupon tap into the retail sector. But Ideeli sold for way less than the $100 million it raised in venture capital since 2007. AllThingsD reports they were quietly shopping for buyers since December.
However, it has failed to differentiate itself from its competitors, like Gilt Groupe and Rue La La. Last year, it reported a $30 million loss according to regulatory filings.
To celebrate its new Groupon overlords, Ideeli is offering a 20 percent discount since why bother to start making money now?