No Need For Discounts? Groupon Execs Ready To Go Public
5:26 pm, June 2nd | by Hillary Reinsberg
The company formally took the first official step today indicating that they’ll be going public at some point, by filing with the SEC. There’s no definite word yet on how much money they’ll raise or when exactly shares will hit the stock exchange, but you can bet that it’s probably happening soon-ish. The Wall Street Journal estimates they’ll try to raise $1 billion in the IPO, which would value the company at a monstrous $20 billion. The SEC filing says they’ll raise $750 million, but the WSJ says that’s just a placeholder number. It sounds like it was a wise move then that Groupon chose to turn down a relatively measly $6 billion buyout offer from Google. Wall Street seems excited too – elite banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are underwriting the IPO.
But despite Wall Street banks and the big numbers and the wealth those numbers promise, CEO Andrew Mason sent out a memo that shrieks of old school Silicon Valley startup culture and quirky tech nerdiness. “Life is too short to be a boring company,” he writes. He also introduces whimsical ideas like “Grouspawn,” a foundation that awards college scholarships to babies whose parents used a Groupon on their first date.
When the company goes public, Mason and his colleagues likely won’t be needing Groupon discounts to pick up the bill on some fancy first dates.