Meet Rocket Internet's latest Indian venture CupoNation

19 Sep, 2012

Samwer brothers, who have built a reputation for erecting copy cat Internet ventures around the world and have been aggressively building a slew of Internet properties in India, has unveiled their latest project, a coupon portal for online shoppers called CupoNation.

Based in Gurgaon, CupoNation offers discount coupons, deals, and vouchers codes promising up to 60 per cent discount for a selection of categories -– ranging from items like electronics, books, apparels, flowers, gifts to services like insurance, restaurants, movies and more.

As per a press release it is co-founded by Chirag Rakshit, a BITS- ISB graduate and Sahil Shah, a chemical engineering graduate from IIT. Although the firm did not say it is a venture backed by Rocket Internet, it disclosed its part of a larger international conglomerate.

According to domain stats sites, it is one among three sites registered with same name and at least two of them including CupoNation.in are linked to Rocket Internet. The other two sites are Cuponation.pl (a Polish site) and Cuponation.com (not active currently). The Indian site was formally launched on Tuesday, although its records suggest the site was created over three weeks ago. It has the same look and feel as the Polish site.

So it's not a co-incidence that among the coupons stocked by the site include that of other Rocket Internet ventures such as Jabong and FabFurnish.

Unlike competing websites which require a user registration to access coupon codes and deals, there are no such barriers to avail the offers on CupoNation.

Speaking to Techcircle.in, Rakshit said, "Business model is simple and has 'savings for shoppers' at its core. We aggregate coupon codes, vouchers and promotional deals from across leading e-retailers and brands and provide these to customers free of cost."

He added, "We make money when customers go and shop at these e-retailers through our website or by using our coupon codes. Later on, we would also want to feature coupons from brick & mortar stores as well."

But what's the idea to launch this now, when others have pivoted out of coupon business and even daily deal sites are facing problems as a business opportunity. Rakshit clarified, "Coupons and deals have always been around, we're just trying to optimise these in an online and later on in the mobile space. We aim to be different from other pure play couponing websites."

He said it's not a daily deals site and does not intend on become one: "Couponing will be a great way to attract new customers for e-commerce websites at a fraction of the cost as compared to other paid online marketing methods."

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)