How Disdus Got Acquired By Groupon In Less Than 6 Months
Disdus is the Indonesian version of Groupon, founded by a man name Jason Lamuda who rejected a job offer from the Wall Street, so that he could pursue something more entrepreneurial. Disdis was one of the earliest daily deal sites to hit Indonesia. Within 6 months, Disdus received an offer from Groupon for an acquisition. As of now Disdus is under the Groupon umbrella. How did Disdus see it’s exit so quickly? What’s the story behind it? Keep reading!
Disdis was founded by Jason Lamuda, who had a terrible time growing up. He witness a lot of unfortunate events and was force to flee his home in 1998 due to the country’s riots. Jason went into Singapore with one goal in mind, work hard and be successful. His driving motivation allowed him to excel in his classes and eventually moved to the United States for a masters degree. He received engineering degrees for both his undergrad and graduate degrees. Shortly after he received his masters degree from Columbia University, both Wallstreet and Mckinsey offered him jobs. Jason felt that he wanted to learn more about tech and management after being inspired by how Amazon works and the stories behind the Amazon executives. Because of that, he picked up the offer with Mckinsey.
Jason then felt that he wanted something bigger, something more world changing, and something more meaningful. In just a little less than 2 years, Jason decided to leave Mckinsey and start his own tech startup. He knew that the US market was extremely competitive, so he decided to move back to Indonesia where the internet market was still relatively new. Jason was able to convince one of his close university friend to go back to Indonesia with him. Together they would go on a long journey to create their first startup.
Both him and his co founder did not have any technical skills. Both managed to teach themselves some programming, but they knew that some just wasn’t enough. They eventually hired their teacher to help them build the first version of their MVP which at the time was named Citzel. Citzel was suppose to act like a Foursquare for Indonesia, but the app itself did not draw enough traction for it to continue. Although Citzel was not successful, Jason and his partner was able to leverage the huge database of retailers and individual businesses obtained by Citzel to start Disdus, a deal site.
Hard Work And Taking Rejection Pays Off
The team worked hard to build up Disdus. A daily routine for the team would be to either cold call hundreds of businesses a day or go door to door explaining to the businesses what Disdus was all about. A lot of times the retailers would reject their offers because the retailers just was not familiar with how the internet shopping worked. Rejection didn’t stop the Disdus team, instead it gave them more motivation to be successful. About three months into it, the team made a pitch to EV Ventures. EV saw the hard work, passion, and tractions that were being developed by Disdus and made the decision to make an initial investment. Now with a lot more money and a good product, Disdus was able to grow their customer database at a rapid speed.
Three more months later, Disdus got on several phone calls with Groupon, which at the time was looking to expand their deal services to Asia. Groupon was extremely impressed with the results and effort that Disdus had put up and offered them a deal. Jason and his team quickly accepted and became apart of Groupon. Disdus still operated like how they normally would on a daily basis, but now Groupon has their back and follows up with them weekly to provide mentorship.
After about 1 and a half years, Jason left Disdus and headed over to start a new ecommerce startup named BerryBenka that specializes in women fashion.