Jonathan Clarke, from Kerry, is a co-founder of group buying website Deal Pinch. (Pic: Supplied)
A new venture co-founded by a software engineer from Kerry is the latest entrant into Australia’s booming group buying industry.
Deal Pinch, a website, tracks and categorizes group buying sites, such as Spreets, Cudo and Stardeals, and allows users to receive only the deals they are interested in.
Group buying is a way for people to get large discounts on products and services by opting in to purchase the same deal.
The site was co-founded by Jonathan Clarke, a software engineer from Kerry, and Lucy McFadden from New Zealand.
Mr Clarke first had the idea for Deal Pinch after his partner complained about the high volume of emails she was receiving from a growing number of group buying sites.
“My partner noticed the problem,” said Mr Clarke. “She was signing up to all these group buying sites and getting about 20 emails a day. It was a bit much for her because she’s a bit of a technophobe, really.”
In October , he met Lucy McFadden at the Sydney Startup Camp, where participants are challenged to create a new venture over a weekend. Deal Pinch was founded.
Deal Pinch has developed an automated system to collate new group buying services on its site. It lists daily deals in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Auckland and is working on expanding into other Australia and New Zealand cities.
Its business model is based on a 10 to 20 per cent commission for each referral that results in a purchase on one of their listed deal sites. Deal Pinch has also recently added Google advertising as another revenue stream.
They’re also aiming to make group buying more transparent through a service where users can rate their customer service experiences, said Mr Clarke.
Site traffic has been quite low compared to what would because Deal Pinch does not have the marketing budget of some of the bigger players, claims Mr Clarke.
Australians are increasingly turning to group buying sites, with the industry now hosting almost two per cent of all online retail spending in Australia.
Yahoo!7 bought Spreets for $40m in January and since then more deal sites have sprung up throughout Australia and New Zealand. Groupon, one of the largest players, entered the Australian market as StarDeals in February.
Everyone has “dollar amounts in their eyes” since Spreets was acquired, said Mr Clarke.
Deal Pinch has relied on the resources of its co-founders to fund its existence, but “going forward, investment would be nice.”
For now, the co-founders will continue to run Deal Pinch from their homes in Newtown and Erskineville, while juggling other commitments.
Mr Clarke works full-time job at Westwick-Farrow and Ms McFadden is studying for a Masters in Commerce from the University of Sydney.