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MIH kills group-buying site Dealify

Another day, and another Groupon clone bites the dust. After a whirlwind gold-rush to emulate the incredible success of Groupon, there has been nothing but bad news in a recession-hit economy for the hundreds of thousands of group-buying clones out there. (Yes, we know there are exceptions).

Emerging markets media and internet giant, Naspers is going to shut down Dealify, its late entry into the group-buying space, after just a few months in existence.

“MIH has decided shut down Dealify, that I can confirm,” MIH CEO of Platforms Stephen Newton told Memeburn.

MIH is the media giant’s investment arm, with reach in a diverse number of markets including China, Poland and Brazil.

While Newton, a former Google South Africa Country Manager, was able to confirm the closure, he was unable to disclose exactly how the shutdown would take place.

“We’re still working out the details,” he said, adding that the company would do its best to ensure that it met outstanding obligations to clients and customers.

According to Newton, up to 18 jobs could be affected by the closure.

He added, however, that a scenario involving “retrenchment is always the last possible option”. Those that wished to stay, he said, “will be given opportunities to move into other spaces within the company”.

When asked if the closure of the site was symptomatic of any inherent flaw in the group-buying business model (it’s a business model that’s easy to copy), Newton believed that others could still be successful in the space.

Newton said the model was not a fit for MIH: “I think it didn’t work out for us… It’s not in our long-term interest”.

Dealify is the second South African deals site to be shut down in recent weeks.

Zappon, owned by rival media group Avusa, recently got the chop following its unsuccessful attempt at the group-buying game.

Avusa had initially hoped Zappon would be propelled to success on the back of its various print and online media titles.

It seems to be retrenchment and closure season, even for a fast-growing online economy.

Naspers recently shut down the Kenyan and Nigerian branches of its ecommerce business, Kalahari.

News24, the largest online publisher in Naspers’ home base, South Africa, was also hit with retrenchments, reportedly of about 10% of its staff.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
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  • Hectic stuff, another 1 done. 

  • Gary

    Such a shame to hear about Dealify, definitely one of the best sites in South Africa.

    If you are looking for alternative, you are most welcome to check our site www.DealZone.co.za, which is the largest daily deals aggregator in South Africa. We add a new daily deals site every week so you will have more than enough content to check out.

  • Justin

    My choice is http://www.DealClick.co.za , amazing looking site and the service they provide is exceptional.

  • Nisha

    Sorry to see Dealify go. There are still some fantastic discounts out there though, so all is not lost!

    Try out http://www.mydailydeal.co.za which features deals from most of the daily deal sites in South Africa and allows you to filter them according to your preferences.

  • Anonymous

    Dealify was a pretty good site. Surprising that they are closing. If you enjoy daily deals then you should take a look at Dealafrica. They are a group
    giant and have tons of daily deals. I use two different daily deal aggregators but because of dealafria’s layout i think its the easiest and fastest to use. Have a look: http:www.dealafrica.co.za

  • I agree, sorry to see them go, they made a worthy contribution to the group buying space here in SA.  All the best to their team moving forward.

  • Shaz

    my choice is http://www.ucit.co.za

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  • Antheametcalf

    I am pretty upset with Dealify.  I have bought something thru them which was a fair amount of money.  They have, and as you have mentioned, closed down the site.  YET, they are still selling vouchers.  dealify told me they would reimburse the amount, but that the vouchers were still valid, yet the company for what i bought the voucher, says they arent accepting them.  What is one to do ??? :-(

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  • SAs

    Firstly Zappon was not the first to go, Dealio was and even though a smaller site or not owned by a media giant, their sales were not smaller than Dealify’s or Zappon’s.
    Groupon is now being haunted by the advertising complaints commission, rightfully because their behavior forcing merchants to not advertise with other sites for two years, was violating the CCMA.
    Groupon will eventually be the last to go. There was a hype, but the hype is disappearing now. Businesses have to discount by 50% and pay VAT, making it 64% that Groupon take. Who can afford that except restaurants?

  • you have been a great contributor and I always come to your blog as I know you always share the best of your information.

  • Pingback: New daily deals site promises ‘clever twist’, less emails | Best Daily Deal Aggregator()

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