December 29, 2011, 11:16 AM

Groupon’s new acquisition focuses on social media

The daily deal provider buys Campfire Labs, which has built a social sharing tool.

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Groupon Inc. has bought Campfire Labs, a social media technology company, for an undisclosed amount. Neither company released many details about the deal, but in a statement from Campfire Labs, the firm’s founders said that its Slice technology—which reportedly is designed to help consumers organize their online connections—would be used by the daily deal and online discount provider in “the near future.”

Naveen Koorakula, CEO, and his wife, Sakina Arsiwal, founded the California-based Campfire Labs more than a year ago. Investors and advisors include former eBay Inc. senior vice president and general merchandise manager Michael Dearing and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. Koorakula was a search technologist at Yahoo, among his other jobs. Arsiwal  was head of international at YouTube, an international search executive at Google Inc. and a software engineer at Yahoo, among other jobs.

“Our mission at Campfire Labs has been to make our lives more social, by helping people spend time with those that really matter to them,” the couple writes in a message confirming the Groupon acquisition.  “We’ve spent over the last year and a half working with academics and student communities from Stanford, Kenyon, Berkeley, Duke, Columbia and more than 30 other schools from across the country to understand what motivates and drives social interactions in the online and the physical world.”

According to a Sept. 1 article from The Kenyon Collegian newspaper, Slice is a web application that enables consumers using e-mail and social media such as Facebook to organize their online connections, plan events, share music and perform similar tasks.

“Groupon has been the most effective driver of offline experiences, in addition to being the fastest growing company in history,”  Koorakula  and Arsiwal  write in their message. “When we started talking to Groupon, we realized how much synergy existed in our visions for a more social world, and it became a no-brainer for us to join forces with them.”

Groupon offered no immediate comment. The online discount provider’s initial public offering took place in November.

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