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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian grocery smartphone app SnapSaves sells to deals site Groupon

TORONTO - Daily deals website Groupon says it has purchased SnapSaves, a Canadian-made couponing app that launched last year.

While the details of the transaction weren't revealed, including the price of the acquisition, it marks a sign of the growing popularity of smartphone apps in the grocery industry.

SnapSaves was created by Toronto-based company Buytopia, which has a deal-of-the-day business model similar to Groupon.

Shoppers can snap a picture of their grocery receipt using the app and receive money back on selected items that range from diapers and cereal to fresh produce and wine.

Once the redemptions cross a threshold, the user can request a cheque in the mail for the money they've saved.

The SnapSaves acquisition was completed on June 13, Groupon spokesman Bill Roberts said in an email on Monday.

"We're excited that SnapSaves is joining the Groupon family," he added.

SnapSaves says the deal will increase the variety of offers available, and expand its reach to Groupon's 52 million active customers across North America.

Other similar money-saving apps have been growing in popularity including Checkout 51, a startup founded in Toronto two years ago.

Groupon is bulking up its mobile offerings after unveiling an app version of its website last fall. Since its debut, the app has spiked in popularity and amounted to more than half of the company's transactions during the first quarter, the company said.

Earlier this month, Groupon expanded its Freebies digital coupon feature onto smartphones in the United States.

Freebies lets users access more than 30,000 digital coupons, promotions and samples at major retailers like Target, Sears, Bath & Body Works and J. Crew through Apple's iPhone.

Groupon has plans to make Freebies available outside the U.S. by the end of the year.

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