Rosner’s back with official BuyWithMe launch

By Wailin Wong
Posted Oct. 6, 2010 at 7:07 a.m.

BuyWithMe, a group buying Web site helmed by former Chicagoan and TicketsNow Chief Executive Cheryl Rosner, is launching in Chicago Wednesday.

The New York-based company had conducted a “soft launch” locally, but is making Wednesday its official debut in Chicago and Los Angeles, bringing its number of cities to 11. BuyWithMe is competing in the same social commerce space crowded with daily deal startups, including Chicago-based Groupon and Washington D.C.-based LivingSocial.

BuyWithMe’s twist on the popular model is that most deals expire after a week, instead of one day. So, a city will have five to 14 deals available at one time.

Rosner said focus groups revealed that consumers felt pressured into impulse purchases on daily- or flash-deal sites. This stress would then lead to buyer’s remorse. A longer window allows consumers to “reach out to friends and plan something with them” instead of making a snap decision, Rosner said.

Rosner had held executive positions at and Expedia Corporate Travel before becoming CEO of Rolling Meadows-based TicketsNow, which was acquired by Ticketmaster in January 2008. Rosner left TicketsNow in December 2008 and spent the next year involved with the Conscious Capitalism movement, a business philosophy spearheaded by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey.

That’s when Rosner met Nick Beim, a general partner at New York-based Matrix Partners. Beim’s firm had invested $5.5 million in BuyWithMe in January.

“We were talking about community purchasing … transforming the way people are buying and selling things, but really creating value from both the merchant and the consumer perspective,” Rosner said. “The more we were talking, the more interested I became in BuyWithMe.”

Rosner joined BuyWithMe in April, the same month the company moved from Boston to New York. In July, BuyWithMe raised $16 million from investors led by Bain Capital Ventures.

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  1. Nora Oct. 6, 2010 at 9:01 a.m.

    More sites and companies are following in the footsteps of Groupon and creating their own groupon and daily deal sites. This is great for consumers, as they now have access to more and more resources to save money. is another easy site to use to save money. Daily Deal Pool will compile all local deals and sales in your area and send them directly to your e-mail inbox, keeping you from having to search for deals or missing out on big savings.

    Using various online resources can help you save money on everyday purchases and big buys.

  2. JJ Skittles Oct. 6, 2010 at 10:07 a.m.

    Often the most awkward part of using these coupon deals like Groupon or now BuyWithMe is that you all go out to a restaurant and have nothing to talk about because everyone is so busy. I use sites like to give me a quick burst of knowledge so that I can go into the night a little more educated and knowing what my friends will be talking about.

  3. Jackson Hyda Oct. 7, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.

    What an awkward-looking site.

  4. Devon Oct. 8, 2010 at 11:02 a.m.

    How does this woman Rosner even have a job after destroying TicketsNow in just 2 short years? It continues to baffle me how venture capital will just blindly throw money in without doing any dilligence on the leadership of the company. Glad I don’t have money with Bain Capital!

  5. John Steps Oct. 8, 2010 at 11:38 a.m.

    Devon, don’t lump all VC’s in the same category. I think Bain was probably enamored with the TicketsNow sale and probably gave credit to Rosner without realizing she may have had nothing to do with it and had just joined with the company. We know Chery Rosner’s reputation (and others like her) and do stay away. I would say the majority of VC’s invest in a good management team first and foremost and this just may be an exception.