Groupon buys VC-backed SideTour

Groupon said Wednesday that it has acquired SideTour. No financial terms were disclosed. Backed by Foundry Group and RRE Ventures, SideTour is an online marketplace for consumers to book and host activities.


CHICAGO, Sep 18, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Groupon ( GRPN +0.18% today announced the acquisition of SideTour (, a marketplace that helps people discover, book and host great local activities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
SideTour handpicks a growing selection of unique, hosted events that connect customers with qualified experts who help them discover more about their cities and the things they’re passionate about.
“The addition of SideTour’s curated local experiences furthers our vision of Groupon as the go-to place for consumers to find just about anything, anywhere, anytime,” said GrouponLive General Manager Greg Rudin. “By offering these highly personalized activities, tours and memorable things to do through Groupon, we can deliver even more fun ways for our customers to explore and discover the best local experiences.”
Events are intimate gatherings, averaging 12 attendees, and span food, drink, architecture, history, art and much more. SideTour currently offers more than 500 public and private events with more than 400 hosts using the platform. Hosts include chefs, artists, Olympic medalists, casting directors and sommeliers.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to showcase our fantastic events to a huge audience with a demonstrated appetite for great local experiences,” said Vipin Goyal, CEO of SideTour. “Groupon will extend our ability to find compelling and unique local experts and give them a platform to reach even more customers.”
SideTour will continue to operate as a separate entity for some time, and Groupon will distribute their events to its 43 million active customers through its email, web and mobile channels. Founded in 2011, SideTour currently operates in four cities — Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. — with plans to expand to additional markets over the next few months.
Examples of popular SideTour experiences include: Explore the Epicenter of Graffiti Culture at 5Pointz and Discover a Jazzfest and Fishfry at a Brooklyn Brownstone.
Prospective hosts interested in featuring a unique experience through SideTour can visit
About Groupon
Groupon GRPN +0.18% is a global leader in local commerce, making it easy for people around the world to search and discover great businesses at unbeatable prices. Groupon is reinventing the traditional small business world by providing merchants with a suite of products and services, including customizable deals, payments processing capabilities and point-of-sale solutions to help them attract more customers and run their operations more effectively. By leveraging the company’s global relationships and scale, Groupon offers consumers incredible deals on the best stuff to eat, see, do, and buy in 48 countries. With Groupon, shoppers discover the best a city has to offer with Groupon Local, enjoy vacations with Groupon Getaways, and find a curated selection of electronics, fashion, home furnishings and more with Groupon Goods. To subscribe to Groupon emails, visit To learn more about the company’s merchant solutions and how to work with Groupon, visit