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article imageGroupon files for IPO, hoping to raise $750 million

By David Silverberg     Jun 2, 2011 in Internet
Daily deal powerhouse Groupon has filed for an IPO, looking to raise $750 million. Groupon says it has 83 million subscribers who receive deals via email.
In a move many Web observers anticipated, Groupon has filed an S-1 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to eventually go public. Groupon plans to generate $750 million, the filing states.
Groupon, based in Chicago, was forced to disclose its financial statements for the filing. Its revenue for the first quarter of 2011 reached $645 million. It sold 28 million coupons in the first quarter, and Groupon generated $713 million in 2010, while taking a loss of $413 million. The company grew from 37 employees when it was founded in 2009 to 7,107 employees as of March 31, 2011.
In a letter to potential shareholders, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason explained how his fledgling company saw massive growth and was forced to adapt. "We increased our investment in technology and released deal targeting, enabling us to feature different deals for different subscribers in the same market based on their personal preferences. In addition to providing a more relevant customer experience, this helped us to manage the flow of customers and opened the Groupon marketplace to more merchants, in turn diminishing a reason for clones to exist."
Groupon plans to trade under the ticker symbol GRPN.
Earlier in May, LinkedIn filed for an IPO, hoping to raise $274 million. The social network for professionals is valued at $9 billion.
In November, Google was in talks to buy Groupon for $6 billion but the deal never panned out.
Groupon is one of the prominent leaders in the group buying space. Subscribers to its free email service receive a daily deal - such as paying $10 for $20 worth of merchandise at The Gap - once a certain amount of subscribers have purchased the deal.
A report found traffic to group buying sites soared 1,000 percent in the past 12 months, with the average time spent on these sites increasing by 153 percent.
More about Groupon, Group buying, Ipo, Linkedin, Social media
 
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