Group coupon startup Groupon has apparently filed a certificate indicating it could raise up to $950 million, the blog VC Experts reported today.
This would be Groupon’s seventh round or Series G financing. The company has raised a total of $171 million to date from angel and VC investors, according to Crunchbase–big money for a company with a simple idea.
The company was emboldened by recent acquisition talks with Google, which wanted to buy Groupon for an astonishing $6 billion. Groupon turned a profit in just eight months, resulting in investor hype and doting press coverage.
Groupon’s light on technology–it’s basically an email listserve and a website–so its biggest expense is its salesforce. The company has been aggressively expanding into new cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Groupon probably wants the money so it can continue expanding at home and abroad, where many Groupon clones have proliferated in the absence of the megastar of group buying.
Ten years ago, such a promising company would have issued stock to raise the cash to afford such adventures. But a few things are different now. The disclosure and accounting requirements for a public company are more stringent since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act enacted in 2002.
And the current easy money climate has made it possible to raise vast sums of private financing and not have to deal with any of the complications associated with taking a company public and keeping a large number of shareholders happy.
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries