Which Group-Buying Website Will Come Out On Top?

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Entertainment Editor
12.06.10 2 Comments

Last week Google offered to buy Groupon for the sextuply cool amount of six billion dollars.  $5.3 billion would be distributed up front, with an additional $700 million available later as an earnout. It seems high, but Groupon is expected to make $2 billion in revenue this year, only their second year in operation, despite the widely reported previous estimate that they would only make $500 million.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Groupon turned down the deal, wanting to remain independent and eventually (as we speculated a couple weeks ago) make an initial public offering of stock.  If the deal had gone through, it would have been Google’s largest acquisition, their largest so far being the $3.1 billion they paid for DoubleClick in 2007.

Back in April, when Groupon was valued at only $1.3 billion, they sold $135 million in stock to Russian holding company Digital Sky Technologies (DST). At the time, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason stated, “When people came with a lot of money to buy a very small percentage of Groupon and it was enough to permanently solve the money problem, why would I not want to do that? Now I can focus on making Groupon great.”  So Groupon can afford to turn down an offer from Google while they focus on building a legacy, easier to do when you’re entirely your own boss.  We can understand, but daaaamn.  Six billion dollars was left on the table.  Cajones, they have them.

[news-links]

  • Google offered Groupon $5.3 billion with a $700 million earnout. (AllThingsD)
  • Groupon expected to make $2 billion in revenue this year, four times higher than previously reported. (AllThingsD)
  • Groupon turns down Google’s six billion dollars, shocks poor people everywhere. (WSJ)
  • Groupon “permanently solved the money problem” back in April of this year. We should all be so lucky. (Forbes via @lazerow)
  • Picture via GrouponForGroupon.

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[news-morenews]

  • It took three hours to clean up 52 pallets of Jell-O and pudding cups after a semi carrying them tipped over in Iowa.  Clean up crews found it easy to move salvageable Jell-O packs onto alternate transportation, as there’s always room for Jell-O. (GlobeGazette, picture via Flickr)
  • A man in Brighton, England realized people kept slipping on the patch of ice outside his house. Instead of warning people, he did the next best thing: set up a video camera. (via Newslite, video at Australia’s MSN, which is way cooler than our MSN)
  • Google isn’t the only one looking to get into the group-buying website game. Amazon has invested $175 million into LivingSocial, which is valued at $1 billion and is Groupon’s biggest competitor. LivingSocial currently pulls in more than $1 million each day on average and expects to post revenues of half a billion dollars in 2011.  That’s halfway cool. (TechCrunch)

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[news-stats]

  • 8% of all group-buying website visits in the U.S. are going to LivingSocial.  It’s in second place after Groupon, who still command 79% of the U.S. group-buying visits.  Third place went to BuyWithMe.com, who get just over 1% of the visits.  Uproxx’s own group-buying site — GetYourCatHatsHere.com — didn’t make a showing, which is a shame, because every cat should have a hat. (Mashable)
  • Not only do Groupon have ten times the traffic of their nearest competitor, but they are also the fastest-growing company in Web history. Well, fine, whatever. We didn’t need to sell these cases of cat hats anyway. (Forbes)

[/news-stats]

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When not writing for Uproxx, Caleb likes to volunteer at the legless cat shelter and photoshop the Babadook into all of his family photos. He once resolved the question “To be or not to be?” through the clever use of General Semantics. Your mom thinks you could be more like him if you only applied yourself.

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