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The business of helping people save money on the web just keeps getting bigger. Digital coupon company Coupons.com has closed on a $200 million funding round brokered by boutique investment bank Allen & Company.
About half of this round will be used to cash out early investors and stock-holding employees at the company, which was founded in 1998, CEO Steven Boal told me in an interview. The remaining $100 million will be used to fund the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s growth, through new customer acquisition, domestic and international expansion, and opportunistic acquisitions, he said.
“Right now we have about 300 employees based in Silicon Valley,” Boal said. With this new funding, the company plans to add 100 new staff members in the next six months and add new sales offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Coupons.com will also focus on adding new mobile and social networking technologies, he said.
When asked about the larger industry landscape, Boal expressed confidence about Coupons.com’s foothold in its space. “We are the clear industry leader in the digitization of the kind of coupons that had traditionally been found in the newspaper,” he said. “This is not a situation where we’re raising money to create market demand; it’s to meet market demand.” Boal said that daily deals sites such as Groupon are more sales certificate businesses than coupon providers, and as such don’t present direct competition to his company.
But while Boal was happy to discuss Coupons.com’s consumer traction, he was notably mum in our interview on disclosing details about the company’s financial performance. He declined to answer my questions about Coupon.com’s sales figures, its prior funding history, whether or not it’s profitable, or who exactly participated in this latest financing round.
A separate source with knowledge of the company’s financials told me Coupons.com is on track to make revenue of over $100 million in 2011, roughly double what it made in 2010. The current round was raised from institutional investors such as mutual funds, the source said. According to regulatory filings, Coupons.com has in the past raised at least $46 million in venture capital; the company’s most recent filing to the SEC was in December 2006 for a series E round worth $20 million. That would make this week’s $200 million round technically a series F raise.
Despite its complicated financial history, Coupons.com clearly has the kind of entrenched brand and top-line revenue growth investors like to see. Judging by the recent successes of other tech companies with long and varied pasts such as Skype and Photobucket, now is as good a time as ever for Coupons.com to have its second wind. With fresh funding and a receptive customer base in a currently hot industry, the 13-year-old Coupons.com is clearly entering into a new chapter.
Image of Steven Boal courtesy of Coupons.com