Groupon announced this week that they are going to partner with one of Russia's biggest social networks - Odnoklassniki. This means the social network's users will soon be able to buy Groupon's discounted deals with one-click without having to leave the Odnoklassniki website. Odnoklassniki is owned by the Mail.ru Group, which in its turn is owned by DST, which last year invested $135M in Groupon. With so many overlaps, it is not surprising that Groupon made a deal with that particular social network, even though it is not the biggest in Runet (Vkontakte is).
Overall, the partnership makes perfect sense: Groupon gets to reach out to more users while Odnoklassniki gets to be the first social network to offer that kind of feature to its users and make some money from that too. The enthusiasm over the deal was hard to hide: 'No other social network has ever before realised incentives of this scale in the field of social commerce,'-stated a representative of Mail.ru Group.
Groupon entered the Russian market last year after acquiring a local clone of the service - DarBerry. By the time of acquisition, DarBerry was only six months old but had over 180 000 subscribers. The service became profitable on $250M and is currently being expanded to 30 cities across Russia.
Odnokolassniki has about 30M registered users, at least 16M out of whom are active on a monthly basis. This is a solid base for Groupon to further strengthen their position in the Russian market, where despite delivery and customs hurdles e-commerce is booming. Around 83% of internet users shop online and they have spent $19,5 billion while at it, mostly on travelling, mobile services and music.
Update 2pm (GMT) on Friday 18th, 2011: We've received comments that DarBerry is not making $250M in revenue. It's somewhere around $25M. This was figure was referred to in the Financial Times article.