Ferry and Fabian Heilemann buy back DailyDeal from Google



UPDATE DailyDeal founders Fabian and Ferry Heilemann have bought the German language deals site back from Google after selling it about a year ago for $114 million.

The terms and circumstances are not yet known – the brothers posted the news on DailyDeal’s website today as follows, saying only that the company will continue on its own, offer the same services, plus expand into “new businesses” in coming months.


DailyDeal, founded by the Heilemann brothers in Berlin in 2009, operates in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. There were signs earlier this year that not all was well at the company – sources reported a large number of lay-offs, with a Google spokesperson confirming it would reduce the team and not renew certain contracts.

At the time, those involved flagged an intention to integrate the platform further with other Google products, such as Android, Maps, Adwords and Adwords Express.

Today’s sale is a sign that those attempts didn’t work out – or that the original founders were unhappy with the directon Google planned to take, possibly including winding the company down completely.

Asked to comment on the reasons for the sale, a spokesperson for DailyDeal said:

In the future, we will continue pursuing couponing as a business model and expanding our strong market position. With 31,000 deals and 4.6 million coupons sold summing up to a total value of €260m euros, DailyDeal has evolved to a leading couponing portal in DACH in the last three years. Within the last year we have grown by 25 per cent compared to 2011.

Building on the existing assets (such as employees, customer base, merchant pool), we will also develop other sustainable business models. The latter will be presented to you within the next few weeks.

Despite the change in ownership, DailyDeal will continue to be solidly financed just as before.

The change of ownership comes at a troubled time for some of the daily deal industry’s once-bright stars. Groupon’s market price has dropped over the last few years, while LivingSocial this week raised an extra $110 million following lay-offs of about 10 per cent of its global workforce and a 30 per cent increase in losses last year.

Outside DailyDeal, the Heilemann brothers have made a string of angel investments in German and Berlin-based web and mobile companies, including event-finder app Vamos and GIF platform Loopcam.


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