Breakingviews

Groupon makes IPO of scarce shares look cheap

November 4, 2011

The Internet coupon firm’s stock popped as much as 50 pct. Short-term excitement was assured by signing up most of Wall Street to peddle 6 pct of its stock. Longer term, keeping a valuation approaching $20 bln will require more tangible things like profit.

Groupon’s growth spurt nearing the end

February 9, 2012

The newly-public online coupon firm increased sales five-fold in 2011 and even turned slightly profitable. But its first results since the IPO also show revenue growth slowed for a fifth consecutive quarter. Groupon will have to get a move-on to justify its $15.7 bln valuation.

Groupon now needs to dig more than build

June 11, 2012

The online coupon service has expanded rapidly and snapped up rivals. Founder Andrew Mason’s focus on moving first and fast has brought dominant market share. The next trick is to protect his business. That’s arguably tougher, and means being more like OpenTable - or buying it.

Review: Groupon’s baby CEO grows up – to a point

June 15, 2012

The daily deals website was the fastest company to achieve $1 bln in sales. Frank Sennett’s new book, “Groupon’s Biggest Deal Ever,” gives a blow-by-blow account of the startup’s rapid ascent. But investors looking for clues to Groupon’s sustainability may be disappointed.

Groupon discounts dual-class share structures

November 30, 2012

CEO Andrew Mason and Chairman Eric Lefkofsky are locked in a dysfunctional drama over how to run the flailing company. Super-voting shares like the ones both men own are meant to give founders flexibility. But Groupon is a reminder of just how dangerous the arrangement can be.

U.S. venture capital needs a reboot

February 4, 2013

A decade of insufficient shrinkage hasn’t fixed wimpy performance, which undershoots boring stock indexes. The dot-com boom is history, startups find capital elsewhere, and funds chase assets over returns. A few big names aside, investors need to strip VCs of their mystique.