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Groupon files to raise up to $950 mln

Groupon fundsShortly after rejecting Google’s $6 billion buyout, Groupon could potentially acquire up to $950 million by selling off preferred shares. VCExperts reports that on December 17, the company filed a 22-page document with the state of Delaware to authorize Series G funding, which could bring Groupon’s worth between an estimated $6.5 and 7.8 billion. The document states that Groupon amends its certificate of incorporation, and can thereby issue approximately 30 million shares of Series G preferred stock for $31.59 a share.

The site also speculates that this money could be used to finance Groupon’s international expansion. The daily deals site has made no secret about its plans to develop in Asia, and this round of funding would undoubtedly help with expenses.

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CEO Andrew Mason confirmed the report, saying via Twitter that “Groupon is in the process of completing a new round of financing.” Bloomberg reports that the CEO is considering “an initial public offering in the new year,” and in more development for the company, has hired former Amazon VP of finance Jason Child as its CFO. Bold steps for a startup that was purportedly considering selling itself to Google weeks ago. Bloomberg claims that sources close to the situation say the deal went sour because Mason feared it “would sap employee morale and alienate business clients.”

Whatever the reason, it appears Mason made the right decision. If Groupon’s funding sees its full potential, it will soon be valued more than Google’s $6 billion offer. And any significant growth for the company means it could also exceed its estimated $2 billion in annual revenue for 2010 in 2011.

If Groupon goes IPO the shares would become publicly traded stock. The jury is still out on how seriously the company is contemplating this option. VCExperts claims that Mason’s investment in overseas expansion signals resistance to IPO plans, but various reports maintain that it is still a possibility and one that Groupon will continue to mull over in the coming year.

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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.

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