Groupon Takes Another Dip in the Talent Pool

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) has purchased Uptake, a social travel research start-up. Sources close to the deal say that the purchase price was in the “teens,” or tens of millions, and was essentially an “acqhire,” a new buzz word combining the words “acquire” and “hire” that refers to an acquisition made largely because the buyer wants the company’s employees for certain talents or ideas.

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Uptake is a Palo Alto, California-based company with just 20 employees. The sale was not a huge win for Uptake, which had raised $14 million from investors including Shasta Ventures and Trinity Ventures.

A spokeswoman for Groupon wrote to AllThingsD to say, “Groupon has acquired Uptake and we’re excited to continue to build the Palo Alto engineering team with an all-star roster of startup founders and experts in the mobile and social space.”

Uptake’s method of analyzing social media data to help users research travel destinations was their unique niche in the travel industry. Groupon will likely integrate the idea into their existing social travel site, Groupon Getaways, which is a partnership with Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE).

Uptake is just one in a string of acquisitions Groupon has made recently, which include Hyperpublic, Kima Labs, Adku, Campfire Labs, and Zappedy. Groupon says it has no immediate plans to shut down Uptake.com, but it will close Uptake’s RealTravel site on March 12. Uptake CEO Yen Lee will consult to Groupon while co-founder Gene McKenna will join the Groupon team along with an unspecified number of other Uptake employees.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com