Groupon, the juggernaut behind the concept of offering consumers daily deals from local and national business, has hit a skid in their path towards a publically offered IPO. According to some experts one reason could be the still-sagging economy. Others place the blame squarely on flaws in the business plan of the company. At any rate, plans for a public offering have been put on hold till a later date,
This news hasn’t dampened the spirits of imitators; including one San Francisco based company, who is not without its own detractors already.
DailyGaypon.com, the recently launched company dubbed the “Gay Groupon,” has blasted on the scene in a big way; although not as big as had been planned. The brainchild of Robert Graham and Jason Buszta, the enterprising duo has had its share of conflicts. When attempting to purchase the URL “Gaypon.com” in January, it was discovered that the URL already existed. Unfortunately, efforts to purchase the URL from its current owner were unsuccessful, and a poorly researched story aired by a local NBC affiliate did little to soften the blow; the story, while focusing on the enterprising start-up, featured the similarly-named URL in the piece.
Apologies from the NBC station did little to kill the conflict, and the duo did the next best thing; bought up as many similar web addresses as possible and rebooted the name. Thus, DailyGaypon.com was born.
By signing up with an email address and zip code, users are sent special deals from gay-friendly businesses in their area. DailyGaypon.com has a twist as compared to their counterparts; a portion of the proceeds generated are donated to charities such as The Trevor Project, an organization devoted to crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth; and Affirmations, one to the largest LBGT community centers in the country.
Added to DailyGaypon.com’s online presence is an impressive social media foothold that includes Twitter, FaceBook and Google+. Still, the battle for the rights to the URL currently held by a “similar” entity, co-founder Grant says that the battle is not over yet. The company is taking legal action.
“It’s a cyber piracy issue,” Graham said. “It is cyber squatting — when somebody goes out and takes up a whole bunch of accounts to try to make a profit and take advantage of small businesses like us.”
So, with Groupon’s plans for world domination on the back burner, the battle for the right to “gaypon” is heating up. Stay tuned for an announcement of the winner.