Groupon investors back the late-night version

April 5, 2011, 10:11 PM UTC

Poggled, a new deals site focused on nighttime drink and party packages, has raised $5.6 million in venture capital funding, according to a regulatory filing. Not surprisingly, its investors are the same folks who helped get Groupon started two years ago.

The Chicago-based company was originally seeded by Lightbank, the incubator run by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. The new round was led by New Enterprise Associates, which previously led Groupon’s $4.8 million Series A round in January 2008 (that company has since added more than $1 billion).

In many ways, Poggled is just like Groupon (albeit within a narrow vertical). Each day, Poggled:

  1. Offers up deals at various evening haunts
  2. Users buy the deals
  3. Poggled sends users a coupon, which they present at said haunt

One difference, however, is that Poggled takes particular advantage of the social nature of drinking. It asks users to let friends know about the deals — via Facebook, Twitter, etc. — which means that someday it could offer deeper discounts for group purchases. Such connections also help Poggled get a better sense of what individual users want (types of deals, favored locations, etc.).

It also allows users to search for deals by a variety of characteristics, including neighborhood, event type and day of the week. So far it only is serving the Chicago market — something it might want to rectify soon, so that someone else doesn’t create a quick clone in LA, New York or San Francisco (or a college-laden city like Boston).

I’ve put in calls to both Lightbank and NEA (Tom Grossi led the deal), and will update this post if they respond.

Update: Spoke with Brad Keywell. Some highlights:

  • “I first met [Poggle co-founder Joe Matthews] when he took a class that we teach, and he began talking to us. He had developed this business and had already signed some deals and entered into some meaningful relationships with large liquor and beer brands.”
  • “The growth of this business is about execution and the model evolving over time… The nuances of nightlife and wine and alcohol and spirits require a very specialized model, which is still in the process of being developed and which will evolve significantly.”
  • “The business is first and foremost about great technology, but ultimately you also need creative strategies for rapid deployment and growth. That could require significant investment road the road.”
  • Keywell declined to discuss how Poggled differs from Groupon, given that he sits on the boards of both companies. He also referred us to Matthews for questions about when and where Poggle may launch next.