Here’s Why Groupon Is Buying Presence AI

By Annie Baker ● August 14, 2019
  • Groupon recently announced it is acquiring Presence AI. These are the details behind the deal.

Groupon recently announced that it is acquiring Presence AI — which is an AI-powered text and voice communications tool that enables and facilitates messaging between customers and merchants. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Consumers (especially millennials) tend to prefer messaging and chat-based communications over phone calls. And Presence AI enables merchants to answer to that trend by offering a 24/7 business assistant that integrates with a merchant’s existing scheduling software (or replace pen and paper) to accept and manage bookings, provide instant answers to customer questions, remind people when it’s time to re-book, etc.

“We’re pleased to welcome the Presence AI team and their booking technology to Groupon. Booking is a key part of our voucherless initiative aimed at improving the redemption experience, providing always-on availability, giving consumers more reasons to buy through Groupon and opening up our marketplace to a broader range of merchants,” said Groupon Chief Product Officer Sarah Butterfass in a statement. “Presence AI’s technology is very complementary to what we’ve been building into our existing booking experience and will accelerate our roadmap with its text- and chat-based interface.”

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Groupon increased bookable inventory 12% year over year and booked tens of millions of diners, concert-goers, spa visitors, and more in 2018. And as Groupon is transitioning towards universal bookability for certain services, Presence AI’s technology will provide merchants with the capabilities to support this booking vision.

Launched in 2015, Presence AI in San Francisco and operates in the health, beauty and wellness space — which is one of Groupon’s largest categories. Plus the company already has a number of key integrations with popular booking software providers. Prior to the acquisition, Presence AI was backed by the Amazon Alexa Fund and participated in the 2018 Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

“We’re very excited to join Groupon and continue transforming client conversations through the use of artificial intelligence,” added Presence AI co-founder and CEO Michel Meyer. “With more than 3 million text messages generated last year, Presence AI is saving merchants time and generating additional revenues. We can’t wait to bring our technology to more businesses.”