Are Group Buying Startups Headed for An Early Grave?
Pundits around the world have said that group buying startups are all headed for an early grave. In truth, the Groupon and LivingSocial mimics are having a hard time surviving. Group buying in the “deal-of-the-day” sense is consistently seeing declining numbers.
However, there is a breed of group buying startups that are rethinking the entire trend. They have taken the inherent common sense and best practices from group buying and are restructuring it to fit certain niches. Dozens of group buying startups joined AngelList in 2015. This is an indicator of the possibility of a new wave of creative ideas for group buying.
16 Group Buying Startups In 2022
(1) Flocky: This is a great example of one of the group buying startups that focus on a particular niche. In this case, it’s baby products. Incubated at the Venture Institute in Mexico, Flocky seeks to increase affordability of baby products. If you’re a nursing parent, there’s an idea that could probably help you take a load off.
(2) Sellervision: If you haven’t heard about the “Ideas Man” — founder of Sellervision, Shed Simove — then read this article. Sellervision is an app that allows anyone to use their phone to record a 30 second video of themselves selling or promoting any product or service and post it as a listing.
Sellervision sells items at fixed prices only, but sellers know that they’re leveraging the power of groups through social media. That’s an incentive to sell at a modest price or a discount.
(3) Dukana: An app for Android and iOS devices which allows users to form social groups in which they can list, buy, sell, and rent goods and services. Groups which exist in a user’s daily life translate directly to Dukana groups.
We love this idea because wouldn’t we all feel more comfortable going into a group buy with our social circles? Think how much easier things like budgeting yoga classes would be for you and a group of friends!
(4) Kindwave: Harness your inner Don Corleone with this consumer-to-business oriented group buying platform that asks you to “Make an offer vendors can’t refuse.” Kindwave’s platform helps you find low prices, discover new products, gain insights to buying trends, and increase product intelligence. These are all essential components to the marketplace of the future. Definitely one of the group buying startups to keep an eye on.
(5) Kadonation: We’re from a culture that buys gifts in groups for special occasions like weddings, newborns, housewarmings, and birthdays. But in modern times with friends and family all over the place, this can get to be a bit of a hassle. Kadonation is an easy, quick and secure way to create a money pool and buy a gift in groups — they call it a “group gift”.
(6) eStork: Another one of the group buying startups that are focusing on a smart niche. eStork is a digital Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) that delivers risk-free medical device deals. In the hospital/medical supplier relationship, eStork cuts the waste maximizing the savings for all.
By negotiating bulk discounts with manufacturers, eStork can offer items at exceptional prices. The platform seeks to give hospitals a new way to save on high-quality items.
(7) BookinGroups.com: This platform provides a robust, free-to-use online booking tool that gives group travel planners a transparent and cost effective solution to get the best group rate from hotels and other suppliers. It aims to help groups (like companies or sports teams) more easily plan events, conferences, meetings, leisure and corporate travel, weddings and other groups events worldwide.
(8) GroopDoo: We’re a fan of the GroopDoo concept because it’s not about jumping on whatever deal pops up in your inbox. GroopDoo’s focus is actually to help peers pre-fund social activities. GroopDoo is still in development mode but sign up to get notified as soon as they go live.
(9) TeamTourist: A website for cruise passengers to easily find and share private tours at the different destinations they visit. For tourists on cruises, private shore excursions with a local guide are preferable to large group tours organised by the cruise lines. But they can be expensive.
By facilitating the sharing of these excursions, TeamTourist allows cruise passengers to save money while still enjoying the benefits of private and customized tours.
(10) Community Buying Group: Are you thinking about flipping a house? CBG helps real estate investors, property managers and contractors to save thousands on building materials and services they use every day from stores like Lowe’s, Sherwin-Williams, Sears and others.
Through CBG’s pool purchasing infrastructure, members get better prices that they can’t get on their own as a small business. Registered members also have access to industry experts, educational materials, and local contractors to help them work on projects. This kind of group buying initiative has already gained popularity in India.
(11) Coinhab: People who are interested in building or renovating with others can connect on Coinhab. According to this group buying startup, by building or renovating apartments, constructing terraced houses or a group of individual houses, people save at least 30% in comparison with what’s already on the market due to the optimization and cost sharing.
Coinhab’s platform is built to grow interest groups around a piece of real estate and then connect that group with a developer.
(12) Bottles Trip: Now this is one of those group buying startups that must have been conceived over a bottle of wine (couldn’t resist the wordplay!). Bottles Trip offers a wine bottles delivery system between wine businesses or from business to consumer by using the large wine lovers community.
The fun part is that the “tripper” uses Bottles Trip’s website or mobile app to alert the community that he or she is in a vineyard and can bring back bottles without delivery costs. This can accelerate sales for the wine business and the “tripper” can make a little money too. Sounds thrilling — just remember not to taste too much wine before you drive home!
(13) Loop: Loop is a group buying platform for residents of buildings. Using Loop, neighbors can connect with one another online and leverage their collective buying power to save money on services and products for their homes. By coordinating purchases with other neighbors, residents achieve greater discounts and allow local businesses to serve them more efficiently.
Loop works with several cleaning companies that offer a 25% discount when they can schedule at least 3 units in a building for the same day. Pet services, grocery delivery, dry cleaning & laundry deals, etc. are all very popular on Loop. This is one of our favorite group buying startups in 2022.
(14) Twined: Have you ever spent hours trying to find that perfect product? Ever sifted through online reviews feeling like many of them were fake?
Twined handpicks “Tastemakers” from around the web based on their knowledge and integrity. The goal is to help buyers easily discover unbiased product reviews and recommendations from real, trustworthy people. We love Twined because it’s not leveraging the power of the group just to be cheap. It’s focusing on social so buyers can have quality.
(15) Thrive GPO: Another one of the group buying startups that has identified an important niche. Thrive GPO is a cloud-based group purchasing organization created exclusively for the under-served non-profit industry.
Members access the platform to purchase common goods and services online at pre-negotiated prices, yielding significant savings over current practice and providing immediate impact on their public missions. Thrive GPO provides this service to members at zero cost.
(16) Bottlez: Okay, so what if we like wine? Bottlez (in beta) describes itself as a mix between Amazon, Taobao, Etsy and Farfetch, made specifically for the wine market, and with group buying functionality.
Bottlez is developing a platform that will allow any wine buyer (i.e. individual, on-trade and off-trade) to buy directly from any wine seller (any business with wine stock). Group buying will allow retail wine buyers in, say, China, to buy together from a producer in, say, California, at prices that are normally reserved for large volume importers.
Group Buying Startups Are Pivoting
Perhaps the real problem is that the term “group buying” has been slightly stained by daily deal sites and low ROI for companies dealing with the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial. But the group buying startups listed here are showing how the concept can be perceived in a more opportune light.
Group buying — not commercialized — is a sensible, economic way of life. Technology only enhances the way we experience it. Don’t forget that LetsPool! fits right in the ranks of these group buying startups. Our goal is simply to make the things that are important in life more affordable, and we provide the technology to make that happen.
If you’re interested in these group buying startups or want to learn more about how group buying can work in your life or business, download our free Group Buying Guide.