After a huge $54 million funding injection, CouponCabin is ramping up its coupon and deals hub
A Q&A with CouponCabin COO Tim Fagan. The Whiting, Indiana–based company was founded in 2003.
SUB: Please describe CouponCabin, and the value proposition you bring to shopping and coupons/deals.
Fagan: CouponCabin.com is one of the top coupon sites on the web, offering everything from online coupon codes and free samples to grocery coupons and printable, in-store coupons. No matter what type of coupon you’re look for, CouponCabin.com is a great hub of all things savings. I like to think of it at the best place to start your shopping. In addition, CouponCabin.com has saved its users nearly $300 million since 2003 and the average user saves $19 in just 80 seconds on the site.
SUB: Who is your target market?
Fagan: CouponCabin caters to anyone looking to save money….who wants to pay full price? We have coupon codes for online shoppers, printable coupons for those hitting brick and mortar stores including grocery, and the largest collection of daily deals.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Fagan: There are a lot of other coupon sites on the web, but our content sets us apart. Between our exclusive coupon content, guaranteed-to-work coupons and huge variety of offers, we truly are one of the top coupon hubs on the web.
SUB: What differentiates CouponCabin from the competition?
Fagan: The main differentiators of CouponCabin include our stringent coupon testing policies and a commitment to providing a one-stop-shop for savings and exclusive coupon content. We offer the highest quality coupons that are guaranteed to work. In addition, our team works directly with its retail merchants to secure its coupon codes and deals, many of which are only available on our site. The site was founded in 2003 with 150 stores and 1,000 coupons and has grown to more than 3,500 stores and 100,000 offers in 2011.
SUB: How big of a market opportunity do you see in the coupon and deals space?
Fagan: In 2010 Borrell Associates estimated the U.S. coupon market to be a $40 billion market, with only 20 percent of these dollars online.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took to establishing it?
Fagan: In 2003, founder and CEO Scott Kluth was one of the developers of a major retailer’s ecommerce site. One of his job duties was to test competitor sites. He was given a set budget each month and was allowed to keep his purchases. In order to stretch his dollars, he would search for online coupon codes to apply at checkout for discounts. After spending too much time looking for codes, he realized there was a need for a one-stop shop for coupon codes and created CouponCabin.com using his own savings.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Fagan: The coupon industry is very broad, and can be very confusing for consumers. Online coupon codes, grocery coupons, in-store printable coupons, daily deals, free samples, local coupons mailed to your home, the list goes on. As this large, still largely offline category migrates online, it can be an intimidating sea of offers which get drowned out in the eyes of the consumer. Or, leading players in the online coupon category can create a large opportunity of savings for consumers that can be targeted, timely, and useful. Our obstacle, and opportunity, has been to find the most targeted, elegant, and consumer friendly way to engage consumers in each of these category “verticals.”
SUB: You recently received a $54 million growth investment from JMI Equity. What do you plan to do with the new funds?
Fagan: On the most basic level, we want to expand and grow our business to connect more consumers with our merchant customers. This investment will enable us to grow our local, grocery and printable coupon offerings, making us the deepest and broadest consumer destination for coupons on the web. This investment will also help us better engage with more than 1.3 million fans on Facebook, and accelerate our mobile efforts in 2012.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise outside funding?
Fagan: As evidenced by a number of different public and private transactions closed in 2011, there is quite a bit of interest from the investment community to participate in this tremendous online coupon market. The migration of offline dollars to online will continue at a rapid pace, and CouponCabin wants to accelerate our initiatives to capture those dollars and re-invest into our merchant base and consumer audience.
SUB: Do you plan to raise additional outside funding in the near future?
Fagan: CouponCabin is profitable and growing, but with our current investors we’ll always evaluate future capital raises if and when appropriate.
SUB: What are your goals for CouponCabin over the next year or so?
Fagan: To execute against our biggest obstacle and to create a world class consumer experience in each of our core category verticals. Doing this will drive tremendous value to our merchants and fuel longer term growth and expansion for CouponCabin.
CouponCabin – www.couponcabin.com