Right after confirming it raised a record-setting $950 million, Groupon is reportedly mulling over the decision to go IPO this spring. According to insiders, the daily deals site is in talks with security firms to manage the sale, and valuation numbers as high as $15 billion are being thrown around.
Groupon recently spurned a buyout offer from Google of $6 billion. CEO Andrew Mason was reportedly concerned over the effect the buyout would have on morale, as well as Groupon’s relationships with vendors. Even still, the rejection was met with some heavy criticism. Rival deal sites like LivingSocial were ramping up their worth and market saturation, and Google was offering unforeseen amounts to buy Groupon out. It turns out that was a smart decision: After its latest round of funding, the company is speculated to be taking home an annual revenue of $1 billion, and would see its worth skyrocket by becoming an IPO. The New York Times reported that “dizzying” numbers up to $15 billion were pitched during meetings, but CNBC’s report ballparked it at a more conservative $1 to $1.5 billion. Either way, a tech startup taking home this kind of cash for going public is nearly unheard of.
“It’s smart to strike while the iron is hot, and they’re the most visible and fastest-growing player in their market. To wait a year would inject a level of uncertainty for the proposition of going public,” Greg Sterling, an analyst and founder of Sterling Market Intelligence research firm, told the New York Times. It’s projected Groupon will make the move this spring.
Pandora is also considering going public. CNBC reported that the company met earlier this week to discuss the matter, and could pull in somewhere around $100 million. This deal is expected to move more quickly and could be in the works by today.