WhaleShark Media Makes The Jump With Help From Google
After being rebuffed by Groupon last year, Google went on the hunt for other coupon-oriented companies that offered an alternative to Groupon. Along with launching its own daily deal service Google recently purchased Dealmap as the company gears up to compete with Groupon. Knowing the history then, itâ€™s no surprise that earlier this week online coupon startup WhaleShark Media announced another round of funding led by Google Ventures, which contributed $10 million. This last round brings the total raised to date to $130 million.
WhaleShark Media differs from Groupon and LivingSocial by offering deals through large merchants like Walmart and Macyâ€™s. Unlike Groupon, who acts like a merchant within the affiliate channel while selling promotional deals to its advertisers, WhaleShark Media has kept its portfolio primarily on the publisher side of the affiliate channel. Through commissions and advertising, WhaleShark Media posted revenues topping $50 million last year.
The addition of HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples to the board as its first outside member shows that WhaleShark Media is serious about growing its network and revenues, something that Sharples did with skill at HomeAway.
WhaleShark Mediaâ€™s growth is due in large part to acquisitions and it now counts among its properties Deals.com and RetailMeNot. Itâ€™s expected that WhaleShark Media will stick with an acquisition strategy in the coming months as it looks to expand its reach with serious consideration being given to expanding the international offering.
Broad-based support for another online coupon startup marks a positive note for a niche thatâ€™s come under attack from both participating businesses and regulators. Itâ€™s also more good news for Austin, Texas, as it marks another local startup gaining its footing. WhaleShark Mediaâ€™s 75 employees recently moved into a new, 20,000-square-foot office with plans to add 30 more employees to the roster.