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YourbanDeals is competing with Facebook on geolocated special offers

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par Elsa Sidawy | 07.02.11

A newcomer in the profusion of applications, YourbanDeals offers consumers the opportunity to benefit from special offers from shopkeepers located in their area thanks to the geolocation function of their Smartphones.
Four founders, one company, one year of existence and the launching of a first application. Promoted during a Mobile Monday devoted to innovative applications for the Paris area, YourbanDeals is available both on the Internet and as a mobile phone application. The principle is quite simple: thanks to the geolocation function, which is taking an ever-increasing part in mobile phone users’ lives, the YourbanDeals application offers users real-time information on shopkeepers’ special offers, from chemists to ready-to-wear shops, located a few hundred yards from where they are. This is about “finding good deals thanks to geolocation,” Sébastien Paillat – one of the founders and the only one of the three partners who is not working full-time in the GeoAd company, created for the occasion – sums up.

And the YourbanDeals creators would have been silly not to do so. According the study “Mobile Internet Observatory” conducted by SFR last April, 50% of mobile phone owners have taken out a subscription enabling them to surf on the Internet and 53% of them say they are interested in local good deals.

Shopkeepers are fond of the application
While there are still few users because launching took place just a few weeks ago, many shopkeepers rushed for this digital window. “We have a huge amount of offers, the new entrepreneur says, and about a hundred shopkeepers are already working with us.” For the latter, the advantage of the application is that it enables them to enter their offers independently through a dedicated space. Most of them are interested in the application probably because it is free. It remains to be seen whether they will still be as « fond of the application » once they will have to pay to publish their special offers.

A French competitor to Facebook?
The four founders have not had the idea of the century and they drew their inspiration from numerous similar proposals in France and throughout the world. In France, Izimobi for instance puts consumers and shopkeepers in contact via an Internet platform and the sending of targeted SMS ads. Plyce is YourbanDeals’ direct competitor with its eponymous application. But the biggest challenger comes from the United States: indeed the Facebook social network launched an application simply called Deals during summer 2010 and within the first weeks over 20,000 shopkeepers were registered in the database.

Today YourbanDeals is only available “for Paris and a few adjacent towns in the Ile-de-France region.” Its biggest advantage compared to Deals is that when a client benefits from a good deal, this piece of information does not end up on his/her Facebook wall and de facto cannot be seen by all his/her network.

Will the small French company measure up to the American giant? Though the Internet history is full of new developments, YourbanDeals will still have to come up with functions enabling it to stand out.

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Translated by Oona Bijasson

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