Mobile Commerce Giant Groupon Announces Acquisition of Pelago

Social commerce giant Groupon has announced its acquisition of Pelago, creators of the location-based mobile social networking app Whrrl.

“We’ve always liked CEO Jeff Holden, the Whrrl team and the technology they’ve developed,” Groupon states on the company’s official blog. “Their obsession with real-world serendipitous discovery, or ‘Anti-Search,’ is core to Groupon’s mission.”

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately revealed, but the acquisition is a clear indication of where Groupon is looking to take their popular service.

Groupon has absorbed into its fold consumer check-in specialists who understand local businesses and how to serve up relevant content and suggestions, much like the attributes other mobile giants including Foursquare and Gowalla have also readily embraced.

Of the acquisition, Groupon says the people at Pelago understand “buying behavior and the importance of a great user experience.” Pelago’s team “is this awesome combination of data-driven creatives…the people who create smart products that are really fun to use.”

“The mission alignment of the two companies and the fact that we’ve taken very different approaches is a big part of what makes this marriage non-strange, and in fact, very complementary and compelling,” says Pelago’s chief Jeff Holden. “And what made this a no-brainer was Groupon’s massive adoption and meteoric growth. The opportunity to take the collective brain power and technology of our two companies and point them at a phenomenon already at huge scale is virtually impossible to refuse.”

What does this mean for Whrrl?

According to Pelago, “we’ve made the decision to close the curtain on Whrrl for now. Think of it as the end of the first act of a long and complex play. You would be right to expect that the ideas underpinning Whrrl and many of the inventions contained within may reemerge under the Groupon banner.”