We do not usually make public recommendations on which marketing services companies should choose (We make private recommendations) but we will go ahead and do so in this case.
Our work at the Canadian Deals & Coupons Association keeps us abreast of many industry tidbits. This is one I wanted to share here.
nCrowd, the deals site that provides daily deals to local merchants and online goods has announced its foreclosure dated August 2015.
“Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan”
Although nCrowd is not as well known in Canada, they did purchase the bankrupt assets of Teambuy/Dealfind last year, and they also acquired the growing services of Dealathons and EthicalDeal in Canada over the past 9 months.
Our take is as follows:
- There is a history of legal maneuvering and business practices which lead to merchants not being paid. Not only in Canada but in the USA as well. The principals at ncrowd are/were Brian Conley-CEO, Rob Bloch, Doug Bauer-CFO, Tara Duncan.
- The assets of nCrowd were purchased at auction by a company named Baseline Capital for around $4 million.
- This does not mean that nCrowd is bankrupt or will stop operating. It simply means that the main creditors who have a right to their assets have foreclosed on the company. They can arrange for repayment from nCrowd shareholders, they can sell the asset, they can shut it down. They can rebrand.
- nCrowd will most likely continue to operate. nCrowd’s audience size is large and has value. Their sites in the US, Canada and the UK are still up and running and selling goods. However, merchants that are owned money will not be seeing payments from nCrowd since that company will no longer exist. Instead it has rebranded.
- UPDATE: the folks who own nCrowd and the domain ncrowd.com and ncrowd.co.uk have now rebranded and launched a site called www.boomstreet.com. The Canadian site has not yet been ported over as of this writing. I will not speak to other countries but if boomstreet is active in Canada then I would recommend that both Merchants and consumers look elsewhere. There are better services available in Canada.
- Attention Wagjag, Tuango, Buytopia, Social Shopper, Retailmenot, ebates, Groupon and other Canadian Deal or Coupon sites; attempting to contact the nCrowd creditors and offering to purchase their Canadian consumer database may be worthwhile. Their database should easily stand at over 1 million consumers given their purchase of Dealfind/Teambuy last year.
- Attention local merchants and product distributors in Canada: We do not usually make public recommendations but we will go ahead and do so in this case. Given the troubles with Dealfind, given the troubles with Teambuy and now the issues around nCrowd, and their new name Boomstreet, it is our recommendation that merchants and consumers in Canada use other services from companies with better track records, namely Wagjag, Tuango, Groupon, Social Shopper, and others. So buyer beware, if you are a merchant in Canada and which to know of a reputable Deals marketing service to use for your specific type of service/product then contact us and we’ll be happy to recommend those that will provide you with a positive experience and deliver benefits to your business.
- Attention consumers in Canada.. if you recently bought a deal voucher from nCrowd and bought it using your credit card then we recommend you get it charged back by your credit card company. Again buyer beware; we would recommend that you purchase your deals from other deal providers instead of nCrowd or Boomstreet. There are better options for you in Canada.
- Attention nCrowd affiliates or soon to be Boomstreet affiliates. If you are an affiliate for them and promote their site, then we recommend, for the good of your audience, that you promote another deal provider in Canada. Others that have an affiliate program are Groupon, Wagjag, Living Social, Buytopia and Tuango… Same thing goes for Affiliate Networks that had ncrowd as a client. We recommend you choose more selectively if the same ownership group approaches you once again.
- The entire Deals and local coupons industry has been hurt by companies that are poorly operated and then go bankrupt or foreclose abruptly, and use questionable business practices. Yes, some consumers may have lost a few dollars along the way or can no longer redeem their deal vouchers but it is the merchant/advertiser that has gotten screwed over by Dealfind, by Teambuy and now nCrowd. Some of these merchants have lost tens of thousands of dollars and will never recoup that money. Our hope is that another deal company steps up to the plate and offers these merchants a chance to recoup some of that lost money by providing amazing terms on their next promotional campaign or two. Many merchants would certainly appreciate that and bottom line, it’s good business in the long run. If we hear of any company offering such terms we will certainly promote them to the merchants that need the support.
- Going forward, companies merging, going bankrupt and being acquired is a fact of business life. However companies doing this as a business practice is despicable. Over the next 12-24 months there will be a few deal companies in Canada that will no longer exist. We guarantee it! Merchants should negotiate terms and faster payouts in consequence.
Below is a copy of nCrowds letter of foreclosure to all creditors: