Deal Buddy is a platform that shares local specials and discounts from businesses, retailers and hospitality providers. Its point of difference? There is no cost to the retailer or user.

Hamilton-based co-founder Jay Bhati created the startup in response to the current cost-of-living crisis.

“I saw businesses and people struggling so wanted to give something back to the country and community that has given me so much since moving to New Zealand.

“I realised that businesses didn’t have a simple and free way to advertise specials. Unlike other deal websites, Deal Buddy is absolutely free of cost to businesses and users,” says Bhati.

Deal Buddy is nationwide, promoting deals throughout New Zealand via its easy-to-use website and app.

Users can advertise and snap up deals in almost every category, from travel to food, fashion, pets, health and beauty, sport and fitness and much more.

Still in startup phase, Deal Buddy currently has more than 100 users and 50 vendors, with plans to grow exponentially.

Early on, Bhati secured investors for Deal Buddy so was able to fund the platform’s development but got stuck when it came to marketing the business so applied for free startup coaching through Startup Aotearoa.

Bhati has had two coaching sessions with Soda startup coach, Kate Wightman.

“Kate has provided some super valuable feedback and I’m working with her to try to find a co-founder with marketing experience and raise capital for the next phase of the business,” he says.

Bhati has big plans for Deal Buddy. First is a big marketing push to increase the number of vendors and users. He also wants to raise capital to Deal Buddy can develop an option for vendors to accept payments through the platform.

His ethos of giving back drives his passion for the startup.

“I get a kick out of creating a startup and love giving back to our community.”

Deal Buddy is looking for more businesses to share their deals and more users so make sure you check out the website and sign up.

If you have a startup and are looking for support, Startup Aotearoa offers free one-to-one coaching and startup resources.