Groupon Inc. has acquired FeeFighters, a Chicago-based startup whose website that provides online payment services and comparison shopping for credit card processors.
FeeFighters announced the deal on its website, saying it was "recently" acquired. Financial terms were not disclosed. The company said "most" of its employees "are coming along with the acquisition, and we are not planning any major changes to our product line."
Chicago-based Groupon has been on an acquisition spree, buying up smaller technology companies in a number of fields. At an investors' conference last week, Groupon Chief Financial Officer Jason Child said the daily deals company has made about 17 acquisitions in the last 12 months. Most of the recent deals were "primarily for technology," Child said.
"Basically we're able to buy teams of folks that are better than what we were able to hire on," Child said, adding: "If you catch a lot of these technologies early on, they certainly are more affordable than when they become later stage."
A Groupon spokeswoman said the company was "looking forward to adding additional talent to the Palo Alto team," suggesting that the remaining FeeFighters staff will be relocating from Chicago to California. Groupon's engineering team is based in Palo Alto, Calif.
FeeFighters raised $1.6 million in funding in January 2011. Its investors include Sandbox Industries, OCA Ventures, I2A Fund and Hyde Park Angels. In September 2011, when the startup expanded into online payment services, it had seven full-time employees and three full-time contractors.
"Our goals have always been to help small businesses run more efficiently," FeeFighters co-founder and Chief Executive Sean Harper said on the company's website. "By teaming up with Groupon, a pioneer in local e-commerce, we are able to execute on that goal even better than we were as an independent company."
It was not immediately clear whether Harper would be joining Groupon. One of FeeFighters' founding members, Stella Fayman, announced on her own blog that she will not be making the move. Instead, she will be applying to business school and working on starting her own company. Fayman and fellow Chicagoan Tim Jahn run a local series of events called Entrepreneurs Unpluggd where entrepreneurs share their stories onstage and take audience questions.
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