1. Create it. Pick the place and customize the deal request. Choose the photo, pick the discount amount and add a deal description.
2. Make it happen. If the deal passes Loopt's review, then the deal will be in play. Now it falls to the user to rally local friends to sign up for the deal.
3. Get it. Loopt contacts the business with the u-Deal details, and if the business approves, the deal is on. Everyone who committed will receive the deal, and some deals will remain open for a limited time for additional users to buy in.
Sounds like a lot of work for an uncertain outcome. Somebody would have to want a discount pretty badly from a nearby restaurant or other business that isn't already offering them to go this route.
Loopt says it's working with ChompOn, a Web-based group-buying platform, to process Loopt users' u-Deal purchases. The feature debuts today in the Loopt Android app for users in the San Francisco Bay Area and will roll out to more locations and mobile platforms in the coming months.
Last month, Loopt teamed with Groupon to begin sending users alerts about nearby deals through the new Groupon Now mobile service.--Mark Walsh