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Virgin considers dipping toes into 'daily deals' offering

Groupon clone sought, says report

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Virgin is mulling a "daily deals" coupon service to compete with privately-held Groupon, Google and other web players that operate or have interest in that market.

According to today's Financial Times, an ex-Virgin exec suggested last year that the company should get in on the online coupons game.

People familiar with the plans told the pink paper that the former unnamed exec had been pitching "Virgin Deals" to would-be investors on both sides of the Atlantic over the past few months.

It's understood that if Virgin bags the funding needed for such a venture, then a service will be launched later this year offering discounts on its own brands as well as products from other firms.

According to the report, around £30m is needed to spend on advertising such a service as well as to pull together a sales team.

The Register asked Virgin to comment on this story, but it didn't immediately get back to us.

Virgin's desire to clone Groupon's biz model is hardly surprising. While it is a relatively new kid on the block, having only arrived in 2008, there has been feverish interest in its business in recent months.

In December, the Chicago-based e-commerce coupon website snubbed Google's massive $6bn buyout approach, preferring instead to raise equity and eventually take the fast-growing company public.

Google has since started work on its own rival e-coupon site. ®

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