Flash sales business Jetsetter is branching out from its base of North America, opening a dedicated version for UK consumers this week.
The company has opened a beta version of its main site with deals specifically for UK customers, as part of a strategy to grow its user base after two years of building a dedicated following in North America.
Member numbers have now hit two million, but CEO and founder Drew Patterson says that seeing 10% of its revenues are coming from subscribers outside the US means it is time to throw resources at providing a local service.
Customers from the UK currently make up the second largest market, thus prompting the launch this week, Patterson says.
The company has opened an office with four people in London and plans to add another four to six by the end of the summer, sharing responsibilities for sourcing deals and marketing the service to new subscribers.
The company officially launched its travel writer trip planning service last week (but has been testing since January 2011) – Patterson says the feature will be included in the UK version.
The marketplace in the two years since Jetsetter launched in the US has grown quickly, Patterson admits, with it facing competition in the UK from the likes of Voyage Prive (launched in May 2010), Secret Escapes (TLabs Showcase – Secret Escapes in February 2011) and others.
The existing strategy to attract new subscribers will remain, he says, with referral and partnership programmes on other websites and one of the most successful for its US version, word-of-mouth by existing customers.
Patterson says although the launch in the UK is clearly a concerted effort to expand the business into new territories, there are no official and immediate plans to extend the programme to mainland Europe.