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Until recently, the European deal market was basically a year behind the U.S. But NimbleCommerce CEO Prashant Nedungadi argues that “they are beginning to catch up.” Nedungadi says they’ve graduated to more advanced platforms, and are more committed to driving revenues.

Some European newspaper publishers, for instance, are outpacing local Groupon and LivingSocial results. European consumers have also been proved to be quite similar to Americans in deal buying habits.

Nimble’s work with European local media publishers now accounts for 35 percent of its business. Nimble’s client roster includes the Sweetdeal sites for MeCom, the giant European media conglomerate with operations in the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland and Sweden. MeCom has 1.2 million subscribers and 40 paid titles. Nimble also has partnerships with four of the U.K.’s five top newspaper concerns: News International, The Guardian, Trinity Mirror and Johnson Newspapers.

In general, Nedungadi reports that Nimble is profitable, grossing $100 million worth of deals last year. He is projecting a gross of $250 million to $300 million for 2012 — a projection enhanced today by the announcement that Nimble will power the Digital First newspapers (formerly MediaNews Group and Journal-Register).

While there has been a big shakeout in the deals space, Nedungadi feels there is still new opportunity in the space. Deals are “a really important platform,” alongside coupons and other advertising, he emphasizes.

One opportunity is for smaller sites to verticalize, in part by doing deals with larger publishers. The challenge is “to get publishers to work with each other. The platform has to evolve into a network,” he says. A second opportunity is to more effectively target email addresses.

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