Groupon teeing up for an IPO in 2011?

Faith Merino · December 30, 2010 · Short URL:

All signs point to "Yes"

Groupon is hard at work raising that massive $950 million in financing.  The company has already drawn some big name investors and is preparing for an IPO by the end of 2011, the New York Times reported Thursday morning.

An individual at Groupon said that as an IPO is looking like more of a possibility, the company will not discuss the topic until (or unless) it happens.

Groupon filed a certificate some two weeks ago to authorize a $950 Series G round in preferred stock.  The round could raise Groupon’s valuation to as much as $7.8 billion, though some speculate that that number is too high, and Groupon’s valuation would actually be somewhere around $4.8 billion.

Other reports are emerging to suggest that Groupon has already raised half of that $1 billion since filing for the round December 17.  Previous investor Digital Sky Technologies has chipped in to provide the largest portion of the round, and new investors Fidelity and Morgan Stanley are also participating in the round, TechCrunch reported late Wednesday night.  

DST led Groupon’s last round of financing in April, when it raised an impressive $135 million, with help from Battery Ventures, Accel Partners, and New Enterprise Associates.  The round raised Groupon’s valuation to $1.35 billion.

The $950 million round that Groupon is in the process of closing has probably been a breeze, considering the company’s unprecedented growth.  Founded in late 2008, the company became profitable after only eight months and went from 3,000 subscribers in December 2008 to 46 million subscribers today.  Given the company’s acquisitions in recent months as it expands its global reach, some 45 million of those subscribers have signed on just within the last year.

Additionally, the company went from 124 employees in December 2009 to more than 3,300 today, with two-thirds of those employees being overseas.

Earlier this month, Groupon rejected Google’s $6 billion offer, leaving many observers to speculate that the company would raise another round of financing before filing for an IPO some time in 2011.  Andrew Mason confirmed via Twitter that the company is raising funds, but he declined to state exactly how much. 

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