Groupon poised to raise biggest round of equity in 15 years

by Knowlton Thomas

The board of directors for Groupon, the world's largest group-buying site, has authorized the company to raise upward of $1 billion. This round of equity, for what Forbes called the fastest growing company of all-time, would be the biggest financing "since Pixar sought $500 million in 1995," venture capital data firm VC Experts yesterday, according to the Globe and Mail.

The online discount coupon company, which specializes in local advertising, is seeking the funding after reports last month that it was in talks to sell itself to Google Inc. for up to $6 billion, in what would have been the web advertising giant’s biggest ever acquisition.

Groupon made its intentions known in an restated certificate of incorporation that it filed with the State of Delaware on Dec. 17, according to Justin Byers, head of business intelligence for VC Experts, which specializes in providing data on private companies.

Turning down a whopping $6 billion from Google still makes headlines, but Groupon knows long-term it was too early. Consider companies like Facebook, and even Google itself - if they let themselves be swallowed by then-titans, they would never be the leaders they are today. Now, set to raise $950 million, which shouldn't be a problem for them, Groupon is apt to continue dominating the heavily saturated group-buying market.

Do you use Groupon or other group buying sites? Why or why not?

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Launched in November 2008, Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the United States. We have about 200 wonderful people working in our Chicago office (a handful of whom you can see to your right), along with a smattering of people in Groupon's other cities. Our company philosophy is pretty simple: we treat our customers the way we... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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