Groupon pays £47.2m to snap up pioneering Bristol firm behind Vouchercloud and Giftcloud

Bristol-based discount and loyalty platform Cloud Savings Company, which operates the Vouchercloud and Giftcloud brands, has been taken over by global e-commerce giant Groupon in a deal worth £47.2m.

Vouchercloud is a voucher platform with 55m annual visits from 11 countries, while digital gift card market Giftcloud is a digital gifting app and website. 

Chicago-based Groupon, which described Vouchercloud as one of the most innovative brands in the market, said it will keep the company’s headquarters in Bristol, where it employs around 100 staff.

Groupon expects the two to contribute between $5m and $6m to its earnings in the first year, calling them pioneers of the European voucher and gifting space.

Vouchercloud was launched as the Europe’s first voucher app in 2010, while Giftcloud – which aims to move the gift card industry from “plastic to digital” – represents the first entirely digital gifting app and website.

Giftcloud held “long-term potential” in contributing to attractive customer loyalty programmes with “some of the biggest names in retail”, Groupon said.

Cloud Savings director Greg Le Tocq said: “For over 13 years we have been saving people money from our Bristol bases, starting off in the Tobacco Factory with The Invitation Book, and then moving to West Street in Bedminster where we launched Vouchercloud in 2010 with a team of three.

“Now we’re in the hub of the city operating from our office near Wapping Wharf where we have seen both businesses thrive and our staff members grow to over 100. The city has been a fundamental part of our journey.

“In joining together, we can create even more, and more effective, ways for customers to save and businesses to grow. We equally look forward to working with Groupon to grow the Giftcloud business, as we continue to be at the forefront of innovation while the gift card industry moves from plastic to digital.”

Groupon CEO Rich Williams said: “We’re pleased to add two great, profitable brands and very talented teams to the Groupon family.

“In Vouchercloud, we’re acquiring one of the most innovative brands in the online discount codes space, which we believe will accelerate our own efforts — particularly in International — and broaden our marketplace for consumers. In Giftcloud, we see interesting long-term potential in creating attractive customer loyalty programs with some of the biggest names in retail, as well as with great local merchants.”

Groupon expects the deal to contribute £3.67m ($5m) to £4.4m ($6m) in adjusted EBITDA in 2018.

Groupon chief executive Rich Williams said: “We’re pleased to add two great, profitable brands and very talented teams to the Groupon family.

“In Vouchercloud, we’re acquiring one of the most innovative brands in the online discount codes space, which we believe will accelerate our own efforts — particularly in International — and broaden our marketplace for consumers.

“In Giftcloud, we see interesting long-term potential in creating attractive customer loyalty programs with some of the biggest names in retail, as well as with great local merchants.”

Bristol law firm Shaw & Co arranged the sale and advised the shareholders of Cloud Savings Company while the Bristol office of international practice Osborne Clarke provided legal support.

 

 

 

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