Where's Lunch? 'Groupon Now' to Offer Location-Based Deals

Ext. groupon building logo - Groupon NowIt seems there's no end to the ways in which Groupon can grow, but come April, the "Groupon Now" mobile app will use mobile devices to offer deals based on where you are at any given moment.

Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason outlined the ambitious new program in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek and simply put, Mason plans to change the way we buy stuff and make Groupon the portal through which we do.Hit one of two buttons on the smartphone app -- "I'm bored" or "I'm hungry" -- and Groupon Now will find offers nearby. Restaurants can tailor deals by the hour and stores or services can offer class or discounts in real time. Locations can boost traffic during slow hours or get rid of excess inventory fast, and consumers can take save a few buck or have a unique experience, if inclined. For Groupon, the new service offers a way to differentiate from the small army of daily deal sites now flooding the market.

Founded as a deal of the day site, Groupon wasn't the first, but it's certainly the most successful of all the daily deal sites. In fact, Groupon is being heralded as the fastest growing company in history. Last year, Groupon spurned a $6 billion buyout offer from Google and is now considering an initial public offering (IPO) with a company valuation set at $25 billion.

It's grown from a little-known website that offered compelling discounts at local restaurants or a chance to skydive for a fraction of the cost to a massive multinational company with a presence in China and national offers from chains such as the Gap and Amazon.com.

And now, there's Groupon Now. Or there will be in April.
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