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Summary:

Collective buying site Groupon has taken $135 million from DST and Battery Ventures, valuing it at more than $1 billion. It has now raised more than $170 million, with previously projected revenue of $100 million for 2010.

Groupon is the latest U.S. consumer web company to be anointed with an investment from the Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies, which gave Facebook and Zynga huge chunks of money last year to help them avoid having to go public by buying up employees’ shares. The collective buying site has now officially taken $135 million from DST and Battery Ventures, valuing it at more than $1 billion, Kara Swisher reports tonight with an early copy of the press release. TechCrunch had the first report on the deal last week.

Chicago-based Groupon said it will spend the money on its global expansion (it’s currently only in the U.S., though it wants to be in 100 cities by the end of 2010) as well as cashing out employees and early investors. It has now raised more than $170 million, and has previously projected revenue of $100 million for 2010. More than 4 million Groupons have been bought so far, amounting to savings of more than $150 million (provided people actually used the coupons they paid for, that is).

Groupon’s group coupon product is similar to those of bubble-era companies Mercata and MobShop, but it comes at a time when far more people are online and comfortable spending money there. It faces scores of copycat competitors, including some that are doing a better job of harnessing social incentives and one, Tippr, that has bought up significant intellectual property around collective buying from the failed Mercata. However, Groupon is far and away the current leader.

DST had previously given Zynga $180 million and Facebook $200 million (or possibly $300 million, according to a report that it re-upped to buy more employee shares).

  1. Believe it or not, but I say this investment was VERY cheap. The investors got a great deal! Depending on how fast growth is: this investment was done at a valuation of 20-26x earnings! That’s cheaper than GOOGLE, AMAZON and many other public companies. Seems like a great deal.

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  2. [...] of $25 million in venture capital. Now that semi-competitor Groupon, a collective buying site, is reportedly being valued at $1 billion, it’s probably reasonable to expect LivingSocial to keep pouring money into [...]

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  3. Thomas Cornelius Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    If you got the revenue, you got the investors. If you have profits, you choose your investors. check out daily update on Groupon’s revenue here http://bit.ly/9R8aPu

    Revenue numbers are provided by http://www.dealwerk.com, a local deal API and white label daily deal site for publishers and developers – the first hyper local deal content factory makes anybody a groupon over night in 48 markets in the US.

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    1. Hi Thomas – I don’t think this is their “real” revenue. This is just the number of sales * price. But they only take a percentage of this in order for it to be called their company revenue.

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  4. [...] to $50 billion, game maker Zynga is reportedly worth $5 billion, Groupon just closed a financing that values it at $1 billion, and VCs are said to be circling startups like Foursquare with offers of $100 million [...]

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  5. [...] Digital Sky Technologies, which has made deals to buy common stock in Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. Those companies are part of a small pack that see active secondary market trading, both privately [...]

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  6. [...] Shah wouldn’t spill the beans on the purchase price — though Groupon clearly has cash to burn — but he did offer up a bit about the background behind the deal. Mob.ly CEO Mihir [...]

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  7. [...] offers of $100 million, despite a distinct lack of revenue — and watching as Groupon is valued at over $1 billion and Facebook is valued at more than $20 billion, with many itching for an IPO for some or all of [...]

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  8. [...] BuyWithMe is the third-largest daily deals site behind Groupon and LivingSocial, which have raised more than $170 million and $44 million, [...]

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  9. [...] fueling interest in tech stocks — Zynga has been pouring gasoline on that fire as well, with investments from Mail.ru, formerly known as Digital Sky Technologies (also an investor in Facebook, including the latest [...]

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