U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $480 million
Snapshot: Groupon was the breakout online advertising company of 2010. Its astounding growth has led to hundreds of copycat daily-deal services and concerns from skeptics that its business model may be too easy to copy. The counterpoint: Groupon has a head start over the competition, is the best-known brand in the business, and has a huge coffer of cash.
Key digital move in 2010: Google tried to purchase Groupon for a reported $6 billion last fall, but Groupon turned the offer down, choosing to raise $950 million from investors instead. No other company we cover has come close to raising a ten-digit sum in a single round. Groupon has signaled it will use much of the cash to fund a very aggressive international expansion.
How we generated our estimate: CEO Andrew Mason sent a memo to staff earlier this year stating that the company’s revenue in 2010 was $760 million, $280 million of which was generated abroad. That was up from only $33 million in 2009.