Coupons, Inc., today announced that they have acquired the app Grocery IQ from developers Free State Labs for an unspecified sum and plans on integrating mobile coupons into the application in version 2.

What seems most interesting to me is that this is one of first examples of an iPhone application, developed by a small group, being acquired by a larger company. There are a couple examples of applications being sold from one small indie developer to another. Where To? comes to mind. Even smaller apps being licensed by larger companies, for example Light Saber.

I’m surprised that we haven’t seen acquisitions happen more. It’s a great way for larger companies to buy an audience. And it’s a good way for developers, who perhaps have grown tired of supporting an application that may no longer be bringing much revenue, to make a little money with it and move on to the next project. Guessing we’ll see more of this in the future.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-09-12 :: Category: Lifestyle

The full press release is after the jump.

COUPONS.COM ACQUIRES GROCERYIQ, APPLE IPHONE’S NUMBER ONE SELLING LIFESTYLE
APPLICATION

Free Upgrade to Popular Grocery Shopping List Application Will Feature
Multi-Store Mobile Coupon Delivery.

Mountain View, Calif. ‒ January 28, 2009 ‒ Coupons, Inc.,
(http://www.coupons.com) the world’s leading digital coupon provider has
acquired the popular GroceryIQ™ application for Apple’s iPhone from its
publisher Free State Labs. Version 2 with mobile coupons is already in
development and planned for a February release, and all current users will
get the upgrade for free. Financial terms of the transaction were not
disclosed.

GroceryIQ (http://www.groceryiq.com) is the leading grocery shopping
application for the iPhone or iPod Touch. The application comes preloaded
with more than 130,000 items commonly found in supermarkets across America.
The critically-acclaimed software enables users to organize their personal
shopping lists by store, aisle, buying history, favorites, as well as
customizing item sizes. With more than a thousand new installs daily,
GroceryIQ has been the #1 paid application in the “Lifestyle” category of
the iTunes app store since its release.

“GroceryIQ has quickly established itself as the category leader among
grocery shopping applications for the iPhone and is a natural complement to
our rapidly expanding digital coupon platform,” said Steven Boal, CEO of
Coupons, Inc. “This acquisition will enable Coupons, Inc. to better serve
our packaged goods clients and retail partners as they move to create mobile
relationships with their customers.”

The coupon-enabled application will match shopper’s grocery lists with
Coupons.com coupons, and provide multiple ways for consumers to redeem the
coupons from their handset. The free upgrade will also allow users to
download layouts of nearby supermarkets based on ZIP code and organize their
shopping list by store layout to save time shopping.

“Integrating GroceryIQ into Coupons, Inc.’s innovative digital promotions
platform will enable us to benefit from the next generation of coupon
delivery technology, making the acquisition an excellent strategic fit,”
said Jason Boehle, Co-Founder of Free State Labs. “We’ll be able to empower
even more users who are looking to save time and money while avoiding some
of the headaches of grocery shopping.”

Coupons.com provides millions in savings from the world’s leading brands
through the Web site, www.coupons.com, and across the Internet on thousands
of partner sites every day. The Company’s growth has accelerated as the
economy has softened and the newspaper industry struggles. In 2008,
consumers printed over $300 million in savings off of the coupons.com
platform, a 140% increase from 2007, and Coupons Inc. is targeting $1
billion in savings in 2009. Over 36 million people used online coupons in
2008 and the number of people who only use online coupons (do not clip
newspaper coupons) grew by 50% according to Simmons Market Research Bureau.
Ad Age magazine called online coupons one of “The Bright Spots in 2009,” and
recognized Coupons.com as the industry leader. The average consumer can save
more than $2,000 a year using coupons printed from Coupons.com and the
Coupons.com network.

“We’re committed to making savings easier for shoppers wherever they are,”
added Boal. “Whether it’s online, in-store, on kitchen appliances, on mobile
phones or on the web, Coupons.com will be there to help consumers save money
and build closer relationships with the brands they use every day.”

About Coupons, Inc.
Coupons, Inc. is the global leader in interactive coupon solutions,
providing clients with complete coupon promotional opportunities that appeal
to key customer demographics. The Company’s innovative marketing technology
solutions help top brands and retailers reach consumers on thousands of Web
sites with the most flexible, effective and secure alternative to
offline-delivered coupons. Coupons, Inc. clients and licensees include the
majority of top consumer packaged goods companies such as Johnson & Johnson,
General Mills, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft Foods, McDonalds and Clorox as well as
hundreds of grocery retailers including Kroger and Safeway. Coupons.com, its
consumer website, is the largest printable coupon website on the Internet.
Based in Mountain View, CA, the company is a 2008 winner of the Red Herring
100 North America award, recognized as a company leading the next wave of
innovation on the Internet. To start printing coupons, visit
www.coupons.com. To learn more about Coupons, Inc., visit
www.couponsinc.com.

About Coupons.com
Coupons.com is the premier savings site on the Web, with more than 14
million unique monthly visitors according to Compete.com. The average
consumer can save more than $2,000 a year using coupons printed from
Coupons.com and the Coupons.com network. The site carries offers from
hundreds of top brands, (such as Johnson & Johnson, General Mills,
Kimberly-Clark, Kraft Foods and Clorox) and works with hundreds of retailers
(including Kroger and Safeway). Coupons.com also provides recipes, a
Facebook application and savings advice from Family Savings Expert Kim
Danger. Coupons.com was launched in 1998 by Coupons, Inc. and is based in
Mountain View, California. To learn more or start printing coupons, visit
www.coupons.com.

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