Sqoot Makes Sense of Daily Deals – For Developers
Philadelphia- and New York-based accelerator DreamIt Ventures graduated its first class in 2008 and has since unveiled an impressive range of startups, all grasping hold…
Philadelphia- and New York-based accelerator DreamIt Ventures graduated its first class in 2008 and has since unveiled an impressive range of startups, all grasping hold of its three-fold development strategy: mentorship, community support, and accelerated progress.
One of their flagship brands, Sqoot, launched earlier this year after several months of refinement, releasing an API that makes sense of the ever-expanding daily deals sphere. “All of these deal companies are creating all of this content,” Mo Yehia, co-founder, said. “It’s good, it’s local, it’s sharable, it’s monetizable. What we do is take all of that content in and curate it.”
More specifically, through a monthly flat fee, Sqoot provides an entry point for developers, allowing them to engage in aggregated daily deals specific to their consumer base. Their daily deals API, tied to an app, scours the Internet for local offerings, then expels that information through the app. Sqoot's an affiliate to approximately 100 daily deal sites, earning, on average, 15-percent of the gross sales price when a deal is sold. They then pass 100-percent of that on to the publishers, who pay Sqoot a flat monthly subscription in exchange. “Right now, our API is taking off. Developers are an under-served market,” Yehia said. “We have an awesome, robust API and we can help them monetize that. That’s our focus.”
Though social in its origin, Sqoot has, in the spirit of a startup, taken an unexpected shape since its founding, emerging first as an “aspirational Foursquare” that created social wish lists on networks. “We were always planning to bring people together with local businesses,” Yehia explained. “On any given block, there’s probably some sort of offer happening that you may or may not know about. There’s got to be a better way to bring consumers to local business that want them.” In short, he said, the amount of local exchange taking place exists largely outside of technology, and Sqoot aims to bridge that gap.
By embedding offers relevant to the content on an app, Sqoot’s partner services are able to reach consumers otherwise removed. “Primarily, deals are an email business,” Yehia said. “It’s very expensive and the luster is wearing off. We’re never going to show your fashion deal on a hunting website.” Now adding a couple hundred publishers a month - some of which only utilize Sqoot’s free version - the service is poised well for growth, with their largest competitor, DealMap, having recently being acquired by Google. “To be honest, we’re really good at being invisible. We don’t have a huge team. We didn’t raise a ton of money, but we have a product that’s way better than anything out their on the market,” Yehia said. “So the market is ours.”