Groupon buys apparel flash sales site, challenges Zulily, Gilt Groupe

|By:, SA News Editor

Groupon (GRPN) is acquiring Ideeli, a major provider of fashion/apparel flash sales, for $43M in cash. Ideeli, founded in '07, will continue to run as a separate site. (PR)

The purchase represents an escalation of Groupon's challenge to top apparel flash sales sites such as Zulily (ZU - went public in November) and private Gilt Groupe. Groupon's Goods e-commerce platform already offers some apparel products.

Groupon has been trying to offer a wider array of premium products/services. The company bought SideTour, a bookings platform for exclusive events, in September, and launched a reservation/deal service for high-end restaurants (Groupon Reserve) in July.