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Featured Alumni Business: ZenDeals


ZenDeals Logo


Name of Business:ZenDeals

Mission/ Description:
ZenDeals’ mission is to make it easier for shoppers to save money online with coupon codes that actually work. Today, three out of four coupon codes you find online are expired or not valid. ZenDeals takes the frustration out of saving online by algorithmically testing coupons twice a day to provide shoppers and partners with the freshest working coupons. ZenDeals is a free service for shoppers and no sign-up is necessary to access coupons.

Founded in 2011, ZenDeals is funded by Eric Schmidt’s venture capital firm, Innovation Endeavors, and is made up of Babson alumni, Stanford MBAs, and second time entrepreneurs who have previously worked at eBay, McKinsey, and Accenture. Our engineering team holds PhD and Masters degrees with deep machine learning and advanced algorithm skills and has worked at shops like Microsoft and Yahoo.

Alumni Name and Contact Information:
Chris Couhault ’02;

Palo Alto, California

Inspiration/ Business:
Being a big online shopper, I’ve always been passionate about building businesses that can help shoppers save money online.

How The Idea Began:
It all began with a dirty diaper . . .I was working with my business partner in my spare room, when my wife asked me to buy some diapers online and told me to “search for a coupon code” so that we could save money. My business partner and I searched more than five coupon websites and tested roughly 40 coupons before finding one that worked. I didn’t understand why the couponing experience was so broken and knew there was an easier way to save with coupons. Over the course of the next week, we had interviewed more than 380 online shoppers and discovered that frustrating couponing was a common trend. We then decided to form a business, raise venture capital financing, build a team and solid product, and embark on our quest to create the superior online couponing experience.

Favorite Thing About The Business:
My favorite thing about the business is that every stakeholder in the chain benefits from working coupons. By providing working coupons, shoppers can save money more easily, retailers can generate incremental sales, and large partners (who previously didn’t offer their users coupons as a result of the poor user experience) can now offer their users working coupons for the first time.

Worst Thing About The Business:
Having direct access to the freshest, highest quality coupons has certainly increased my credit card bills over the past year!

Most Recent Business Accomplishment:
Although we provide coupons directly to shoppers, we’ve recently been approached by the top search engines, price comparison, and content websites who want to access ZenDeals coupons. We’re currently integrating with a number of large companies and hope to distribute verified coupons to millions of shoppers this year.

Definition of Entrepreneurship:
See how I define entrepreneurship>>