It appears the race is in full throttle between the region’s two major Groupon sites GoNabIt.com and Cobone.com with the latter’s latest move on the Amman market putting the two only a city away from a full blown turf war.
Jabbar backed Cobone.com started serving group deals to the public back in September 2010, and have already branched out to a total of 6 cities in 4 countries, plus a high-end group deal service labeled Dubai Premium.
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Cobone’s main rival GoNabIt now provides for the same number of cities with a more detailed coverage in the UAE including Sharja-Ras AlKhaima-Ajman plus the fact they are the only online group buying service in Kuwait, while Cobone holds the same title in Bahrain.
Cobone.com is trying to establish itself as not only the traditional Group Buying provider for the services market that lives offline, but has made some attempts at selling discounts for other online services such as getting $40 USD worth of merchandise by paying only $18.
I could be mistaken but it seems be Cobone is getting money from indirect advertisement for other online services. That simply isn’t the value one would expect from a site like that. I think it’s a cheap shot for some extra cash, that doesn’t look good for Cobone as far as appearances go.
What’s also interesting is the fact when Cobone first launched they had an impressive 24 city gallery displayed at the top of the site, perhaps in a display of where they intend to be, the list that is being displayed today has been cut to half that number today.
Cobone has apparently postponed all cities not identified as practical investments for now displayed in their updated city list, which they also haven’t yet fulfilled.
Although these indicators probably don’t mean Cobone is struggling, but it definitely means their rivals aren’t willing to surrender over the Groupon market to Jabbar’s latest prodigal child.