Everybody loves a good deal, but they can be pretty hard to come by. Scattered all over the world wide web, shoppers scour every corner of every e-commerce site to find the best deals. But now, getting deals can be a whole lot easier, thanks to Honey, one of the world’s biggest hubs for deals and discounts.
Founded in November 2012 by two Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs, Ryan Hudson and George Ruan, Honey is a browser extension that aggregates and automatically applies online coupons to tens of thousands of e-commerce websites. The idea came to life after the start-up duo built a prototype of a browser extension in October 2012 and quietly launched it to a small group. A bug tester caught wind of the app and posted it to Reddit, where Honey caught fire and went viral.
By March 2014, the tool already had over 900,000 organic users. Operating the technology is the company Honey Science Corp, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company is a subsidiary of the giant fintech company PayPal and has quickly become one of the nation’s most significant deal and cashback systems. Honey’s system scours the internet for working coupon codes to online deals. It then proceeds to apply the code automatically on sites as soon as shoppers check the price tag.
The technology’s business model is quite simple. The company makes a commission out of every transaction from each of their thirty thousand and growing partnering retailers from all over the United States. When a member of the site purchases from a merchant, Honey then shares a part of their commission back to the buyer as a part of their cashback program. The system also informs users of price drops and limited promos and discounts from some of their favorite stores and retailers.
The company’s service has become a significant value-add to retailers as it gives them an extra stream of traffic without spending on marketing and advertising. In essence, the commission paid to Honey is the budget, and it often provides a great return on investment compared to paying for expensive online ad spaces.
Honey has helped its users save up to $126 a year on average and give out around 17% of discounts all the time. Consequently, the company has grown immensely, with over 17 million users using the app. Honey would become one of the elite circles of tech start-ups to reach a nine-figure price tag after George and Ryan sold Honey Science Corporation to Paypal Holdings Inc for a pretax haul worth $4 billion in 2020. Ruan and Hudson would each receive approximately $900 million and $575 million, respectively, from the deal with PayPal. The two remain employed in the company and continue to helm operations as the company’s chiefs to this day.
Honey continues to receive attention from media outlets, getting featured on publications like Time, Business Insider, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times to name a few. The tool currently has browser extensions available on Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge, and it remains free for users.
To learn more about Honey, visit the company’s website.