Keynoir is an upmarket group buying website which is based predominently in the English city of London and offers discounts of up to 90% on a wide variety of activities from fine dining to spa treatments.  This is an overview of the history of Keynoir, how the website works, the benefits to consumers and businesses and a brief review.

The website works in a similar way to many other sites such as Groupon, KGB Deals, Living Social and Tickles so if you have had experience of such websites then some of the information on this page you may already know - if so I apologise and hope you understand why I need to include it for those with no knowledge of such companies.

History and company structure

Keynoir was established in 2010 in the city of London.  It was set up by Glen Drury and Philip Wilkinson who through working for Kelkoo and Yahoo! had a lot of experience of the internet landscape and industry.  To help the company grow they were assisted by a number of instutional investors.

How Keynoir works

Keynoir works in a similar way to many other companies, some of which were identified above (such as Groupon and Living Social) although it tends to market itself as a more premium offering.  Each day there is a different unique offer available.  Due to the way these websites work, it is probably easiest to explain how Keynoir works by using a series of bullet points:

  • Keynoir links up with companies who offer services in London and the surrounding areas and negotiate a unique price/package for a service.
  • Keynoir sends an email to those who have registered for such alerts advertising that day's deal and the subscribers can then purchase the deal as well as those who just browse the webpage.  
  • Once the item has been paid for, Keynoir send a unique code to the email address used when registering.  This unique code is known as a 'Keypass'.
  • This Keypass is then used when booking/paying for the service.

As can be seen, it is actually quite a simplistic system.

The benefits to consumers/customers

As can be seen it is possible to get good deals.  In many cases these can be up to 90% off some very premium activities, resulting in people being able to enjoy themselves at a much lower cost than normal and making activities affordable to a much greater number of individuals.

Benefits to partnering companies

Working with Keynoir and other group buying websites hopefully brinsg financial rewards for partnering companies and organisations.  Obviously the company gets customers directly from those who purchase a Keypass and the company would hope it's service is good enough to encourage repeat business.  The company also gets additional advertising to those who subscribe to emails and check out the website.  Furthermore, since this is a limited time only, unique deal targeted at specific individuals, the company is less likely to annoy regular customers who are paying full price.

Keynoir review - My own personal experience

In the UK there is the saying that if something seems to good to be true it probably is and so many people assume that Keynoir must be a scam.  I would have potentially myself thought it was a scam, until it was featured in a Money Saving Expert email.  Keynoir managed to get a special offer whereby they offered Pret A Manger gift cards at 80% off.  I signed up for this, and recieved the voucher, allowing me to have several meals from Pret for the same price as the equivalent meal from Tesco.  I have since purchased several other deals using the Keynoir website and so I am able to say that in my experience Keynoir definitely isn't a scam.