German Startup Scores First Major U.S. Client With Business Insider Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Rocket Internet SE-backed startup Global Savings Group has scored its first major client in the U.S., where the e-commerce business is targeting an expansion over the coming years.

Global Savings started running a coupon site for Axel Springer SE’s Business Insider in August, Managing Director Andreas Fruth said in an interview.

For Business Insider, doing a deal with Global Savings is a way to try to keep more readers glued to the site. Global Savings can help media companies increase digital sales by up to 30 percent by allowing sites to present its services under their own brands, Fruth said.

Global Savings and its rivals are rushing to build scale as e-commerce increasingly replaces brick-and-mortar shops in many retail sectors. The Munich-based startup, which made a profit in 2017 for the second year in a row, has a staff of five in the U.S. and plans to hire about 15 to 25 more workers during the next three to six months, Fruth said.

“The U.S. is a huge and exciting market,” Fruth said.

Global Savings links shoppers with coupons and discount codes from about 20,000 online retailers such as Inc., Nike Inc. and Walmart Inc. Readers that click to claim a discount are redirected to the merchant’s website to complete a purchase. Global Savings gets a fee of 3 percent to 15 percent of the value of a shopper’s order, and currently brokers about 1.5 million transactions a month, Fruth said.

Global Savings, which is active in more than 20 countries including Germany, Australia and Brazil, competes with companies including RetailMeNot and CouponDunia. Global Savings currently has two media customers in the U.S. and is in talks with more potential clients.

The company’s investors include Deutsche Telekom AG and Holtzbrinck Ventures. In 2016, the startup partnered with Daily Mail & General Trust Plc’s MailOnline to bring its service to the U.K. In France, it started the Holiday Detective site that collects travel deals.

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