Just two months after it began serving Kazakhstan, Biglion, the leading Russian daily deal site, has acquired Bongo.by, a Belorussian analog. The transaction was announced yesterday by Biglion’s Development Director Oleg Savtsov in an exchange with Russian business daily Kommersant.
Savtsov did not disclose the amount of the deal, but Kommersant reported that Bongo.by is likely to have been valued at $1 milllion or less, citing unnamed experts.
Biglion was founded in March 2010 amid the ‘Groupon fever’ that hit Russia at that time. Dozens of daily deal sites appeared on the market, with most of nearly exact copies with only slight variations of the American Groupon.com model.
Biglion’s turnover remains undisclosed, but it has been subject to a range of different estimates. The highest estimate, from Forbes.ru is $140 million, while industry expert Leonid Gluzman estimates it to be $126 million, he told East-West Digital News last month. Among Biglion’s main competitors are Groupon Russia, whose 2011 turnover amounted to an estimated $73 million, as well as Vigoda.ru, Kupikupon.ru, Kupibonus.ru, and Bigbuzzy.ru, each with turnovers of up to $20 million, according to Gluzman.
Groupon Russia had also considered an acquisition in Belorussia, but dropped the idea. “The Belorussian market is very small compared to Russia and other neighbouring countries, and margins on goods and services are too low to allow significant discounts,” the site’s commercial director Ivan Vladimirov told Kommersant.
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