Chicago-based daily deals provider YouSwoop will be launching in the North Shore as early as Tuesday, marking the company’s first expansion outside of the city.
YouSwoop, which debuted in December 2009, is also introducing a revamped website and a marketplace for subscribers to exchange deals they’ve bought but aren’t planning to use.
Founder Alexander Lurie said the company will also be rolling out personalized deals during the summer based on customers’ zip code, gender, birth year and purchasing preferences.
“We’ve spent quite a bit of time getting things right here in Chicago,” said Lurie, a Northwestern University graduate. “YouSwoop 2.0 represents not just a cleaner, new look, but also leverages the learnings we’ve had here locally. We know people really want personalized offers near where they live.”
Lurie said YouSwoop will further expand to the Minneapolis/St. Paul market in June. The company is in talks with investors on closing a funding round of about $1.5 million, Lurie added.
YouSwoop employs about 35 people and is growing by seven to eight new staffers a month. The service has 95,000 subscribers and has already signed up several thousand North Shore members, Lurie said.
Lurie said the primary differentiator between his company and Chicago-based Groupon, the leader in the online deals space, is that YouSwoop always limits the number of vouchers it sells for each deal.
This strategy keeps YouSwoop from bringing in the massive volumes that Groupon and Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial have racked up, but Lurie said he believes his approach creates a better experience for both consumers and merchants.
“The LivingSocials and Groupons are really looking for global domination,” Lurie said. “We are relentlessly focused on the local and regional play, and staying quality.”