Groupon raises $700M in IPO, valuation grows to $12.7B
Social commerce giant Groupon raised $700 million in its initial public offering Thursday, 30 percent more than it sought, valuing the startup at $12.7 billion.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Bloomberg News reports Groupon sold 35 million shares priced at $20 each. The firm had offered 30 million shares for $16 to $18 apiece and stopped taking orders from investors a day earlier than planned because of intense demand. Groupon begins trading today on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol GRPN.
The success of the Groupon IPO restores luster to the much talked-about company, which presents daily bargains from retailers and restaurants spanning across hundreds of international markets. Groupon initially filed to go public in June, seeking a valuation of $20 billion. The Securities and Exchange Commission soon raised questions about Groupon's accounting practices, and in late September, the startup amended its offering filing to reduce its reported 2010 revenue from $713.4 million to $312.9 million, a move one analyst called "a shock to the valuation."
Groupon CEO Andrew Mason also ran afoul of the SEC by releasing an internal memo to employees balking at speculation the company is running out of money. Making public statements about a company's financial status during its IPO process is prohibited by SEC rules. In addition, COO Margo Georgiadis exited Groupon's ranks in September, returning to former employer Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) after only five months on the job.
Groupon offers applications optimized for smartphone platforms including Google's Android, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone. The company also has teamed with partners including location-based mobile social network foursquare and m-commerce solutions provider ShopSavvy to further expand its deals platform to smartphone users.
- read this Bloomberg News article
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