Sugar Buys BookFresh and FreshGuide

Female-centric content and ad network Sugar, Inc. yesterday announced the acquisition of BookFresh and FreshGuide (also part of BookFresh):

In its first foray into providing local editorial and advertising, Sugar Inc. ( today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire FreshGuide Inc., which operates and BookFresh ( is an online women-focused city guide that provides access to exclusive daily offers from a well-edited selection of local businesses in beauty, health and fitness, dining, travel getaways and other relevant categories. BookFresh provides an online booking service for local businesses, such as spas and salons.

BookFresh began as HourTown and is an online booking platform for SMBs. I wrote about it and the segment previously:

FreshGuide was a second effort by BookFresh CEO Ryan Donahue and team and is a group-buying site, although Donahue describes FreshGuide as a cityguide (more fodder for TheDealMap and Yipit):

Donahue will now run local for Sugar. He said the following to me in an email exchange:

[I will be] GM of FreshGuide and run Sugar’s local business. I am excited to create a female-focused local advertising platform that will leverage the offers capabilities of freshguide and the online bookings capabilities of BookFresh. I think local advertisers with an interest in wooing women, will find that we offer a compelling combination of merchant tools and a hyper-targeted female audience.

Deal terms were not disclosed.


3 Responses to “Sugar Buys BookFresh and FreshGuide”

  1. Ross Weinstein Says:

    Congrats to Ryan and team!! Great to see the dedication and effort pay off.

  2. Rodrigo Landerdahl Says:

    Although the barriers to entry are very low in this industry, I think it was a smart move by Brian Sugar. I definitely like where Sugar Inc is headed.

    But what are they going to do with BookFresh? If the service was so stale that they had to pivot their business model (and create FreshGuide), I guess they’re just gonna let it die. Good for genbook.

  3. kenzilisa Says:

    For Bookfresh there is nowhere to go but up; that site is completely stagnant and unresponsive to any questions or suggestions for the site. Maybe it is time to look at Genbook instead of throwing my cash at Bookfresh.

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