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Groupon Unveils IPad App for Merchants as Daily-Deal Demand Ebbs

Groupon Inc. began offering an application for Apple Inc.’s iPad that lets merchants track purchases, part of a push by the daily-deal company to add new lines of sales to make up for slowing growth in online coupons.

The software, called Breadcrumb, is available to merchants in the U.S. for monthly subscriptions starting at $99, Mihir Shah, Groupon’s vice president of mobile and merchant products, said in an interview. It had previously been offered to a select group of local businesses in New York.

Groupon is seeking to expand beyond daily deals by building a suite of merchant-focused technology tools that include a credit-card payment service and a reservation-booking site. Breadcrumb, a New York-based startup acquired by Groupon in May, specializes in technology that could help its new owner compete with such payment-service providers as Square Inc.

“We want to be the one-stop shop to help merchants grow and run their business,” Shah said in an interview. “We have been focused on the grow part, and now we’ve started to roll out a suite of products that help merchants run their business.”

Breadcrumb is also targeted toward restaurants and bars, which need features such as menu adjustments, check splitting, and managing employee time-clocks.

The app will work in conjunction with Groupon Payments, the credit card-reading service unveiled last month, to record transactions, though merchants using one are not required to use both, Shah said.

-- Editors: Reed Stevenson, Tom Giles

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