Mobile Spinach – Mobile Commerce And Group-Buying Platform
San Mateo, California-based Mobile Spinach (www.mobilespinach.com) is an integrated mobile commerce and group-buying platform that provides users with virtual discount coupons that can be redeemed at participating local merchants. The service takes the form of a mobile website that features the look and feel of a native app, and so works on all available smartphone platforms. Consumers use the mobile site on their mobile phones to purchase a discounted group buy offer – or through a third party white label site such as CitySearch, Motorola, and Tapjoy – and receive Mobile Spinach vouchers directly in their mobile wallet. This makes redemption quick and convenient, without the hassle of showing printed emails or other methods employed by traditional group-buying sites.
“Our model is different from any type of ‘daily deal‘ site because we give customers exactly what they want instantaneously,” says John Vitti, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Mobile Spinach. “If the customer decides they want Thai food for lunch today, we can provide a discounted offer for a well-regarded Thai restaurant in their area. The customer gets to save money, and the merchant is able to attract a local customer at minimal expense.”
And if one of the biggest problems associated with the cost of running a group-buying site is the need for a large sales force, Mobile Spinach eliminates that altogether by utilizing a proprietary automated system to identify and sign-up prospective merchants instead. “We use our own proprietary methods to find quality merchants and then suggest a number of consumers that can purchase a specific Mobile Spinach offer,” explains Vitti. “This prevents a merchant from becoming overwhelmed by more offers than they can reasonably handle, which might result in negative consumer sentiment toward the brand. Our service allows merchants to build a loyal customer base over time, instead of attracting bargain-seeking consumers in a one-time burst.”
Mobile Spinach was founded in 2010 by entrepreneurs John Vitti, Antonio Vitti, and Steve Lewis. It closed a US$1 million round of venture capital funding in January 2011 that came from multiple sources including Blumberg Capital, Quest Venture Partners, LaunchCapital, and Transmedia Capital.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.