Daily deals have been one of the biggest trends to hit the internet since social media. Pioneered and popularized by Groupon, the deals model swept the world by storm and the Philippines is no exception. The pole star in the Philippines is Ralph Wunsch’s MetroDeal, which gets over two million unique visitors per month and is currently the Philippines’ number one e-commerce site. Since I’ll be chatting with Ralph on April 5th at Startup Asia, I thought it’d be nice for you to have a quick preview of what MetroDeal is all about and what kinds of insights can be gleaned from his work. Ralph’s actually half Austrian and half Filipino. Having worked successfully in a daily deals site in Austria, he went on to found MetroDeal in the Philippines. Ralph started MetroDeal alone in late 2010 with one laptop and working out of his apartment. Within 15 minutes of launching the website, he sold his first deal. It went on to sell over one thousand times. In the first month, he made $50,000 of sales. By his fourth month, he had already hit $1 million. This was all in a period when he was hacking away solo with one person to do customer service. By the end of 2011, he had over 20 employees and by the end of 2012, he had over 50 people. By 2012, MetroDeal achieved over $18 million in sales and is projected to hit $20 million by the end of 2013. It’s currently profitable. Much of MetroDeal’s success can be attributed to a local market that was still weak in understanding the market for daily deals and the enticing offers his site pushed forward. One offer that Ralph noted to me was a buffet dinner cruise that was offered at 50 percent off. This deal sold over 40,000 times in two days alone. According to Ralph:
That’s a record in all of Southeast Asia, even. And that came out when we were barely six months old. It’s deals like these that really put us on the map.
Next up for MetroDeal is the launching of a new travel portal that will leverage their market penetration where sites like Agoda are still unknown. Swing by in the afternoon at 3:30pm on April 5th (the second day of our event) where I’ll be interviewing Ralph to get more details on MetroDeal and the key elements to his success that we can glean for our own startups.
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