A Brief History of Groupon Valuations, Told (Mostly) Through TechCrunch Headlines



What happens when you combine tech investment fervor, hype-as-absurdist-performance-art and the kind of advanced mathematics required by birthday party magicians to “pick a number, any number at all”? You get a brief history of Groupon’s valuations in the press. This is what a coupon company whose value increases by a factor of 48 in less than two years looks like in TechCrunch headlines (with exceptions for context).

“Groupon Valued At $250 million” – TechCrunch, December 17, 2009

“Groupon Raises Huge New Round at $1.2 Billion Valuation” – TechCrunch, April 13, 2010

“It’s Official: Groupon Announces That $1.35 Billion Valuation Round” – TechCrunch, April 18, 2010

[Moment of Context #1: “Google’s Groupon Offer: $5.3 Billion, With $700 Million Earnout” – All Things D, November 29, 2010]

“Groupon’s Valuation Could Be As High As $7.8 Billion” – TechCrunch, December 28, 2010

“Groupon Closing $950 Million Round, Valued At $4.75 Billion” – TechCrunch, December 28, 2010

“Groupon Said To Be Valued At, Like, $15 Billion” – TechCrunch, January 13, 2011

“SharesPost Report: Groupon Is A Deal At $6 Billion” – TechCrunch, February 3, 2011

“Is Groupon Worth $25 Billion? Revenue Now ‘Multiple Billions Of Dollars'” – TechCrunch, March 17, 2011

[Moment of Context #2: Groupon files their S-1, opening their finances to the world – June 2, 2011. Noted with a smiley face in chart above.]

“Groupon’s IPO Valuation Could End Up Being Less Than $6 Billion” – TechCrunch, October 3, 2011

[Moment of Context #3: “Groupon Seeks Valuation at Close to $12 Billion” – Dealbook, October 19, 2011]

To be fair, TechCrunch was far from the only offender on playing in Groupon’s crazy sandbox o’ numbers.

[Moment of Context #4, from March 17, 2011: “Groupon Valuation Soars as Possible I.P.O. Nears.” The article noted that Groupon’s then-possible I.P.O. could “value the company at close to $25 billion, according to a person close to the matter who was not authorized to speak because the talks were private.” The article appeared in Dealbook.]

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek A Brief History of Groupon Valuations, Told (Mostly) Through TechCrunch Headlines