Groupon enters UAE; gearing for world domination


Deal-of-the-day website Groupon has officially entered the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Operating under the website The company will initially serve Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and slowly into other cities in the coming months. With UAE, the company now brings its presence into 43 countries around the globe and savings of about $1.8 billion for its members.

Despite competition from other daily-deal sites, including its ex-suitor Google, Groupon has managed to cement its foothold in different countries, using the principles of collective buying that delivers new revenue streams to local businesses. Its massive membership, coupled with thirst for daily deals, is a natural come-on for all kinds of businesses to offer deals.

“Groupon’s expansion to United Arab Emirates is another step in our development as a global Internet brand,” said Rob Solomon, president and chief operating officer of Groupon. “Groupon UAE will change the face of the local collective buying market, leveraging the best practices Groupon has pioneered in more than 40 countries around the globe.”

The entry to UAE came right after announcing its entry to China by launching, a collaboration with local-based What is important here is the potential to tap into the world’s biggest Internet population with more than 457 million users.

The company just recently announced that it has raised an additional $16.12 million in funding led by Ted Leonsis, vice-chairman emeritus of AOL.

Australians spending more time with social networks


Social networking now accounts for the largest amount of total time spent online by Australians.

In a report released by comScore on The State of the Internet in Australia, Australians consumed about 22 percent of their time online in December 2010, up by 5.3 percentage points compared to the same month the previous year. This explains why Facebook is the top site by total minutes spent in Australia. Different sources place the total number of Australians using Facebook at 8 to 10 million active users.

Portals came in second at 19.7 percent and Instant Messengers accounted for 11.6 percent. Both shed points to social networking. Entertainment rose to 11.1 percent from 9.1 percent in 2009.

The report also revealed that group-buying continued to gain traction over the past year. Cudo of MSN leads the space with 418,000 unique visitors in December 2010. This landscape is expected to change with the entry of Groupon, known as Stardeals, in Australia.

‘Google Offers’ Launching As Groupon Competitor

Google Offers

Google Offers

If you can’t spend $6 billion dollars to buy the technology you want, the next logical step is to build your own. After being turned down in their pursuit of owning social buying website Groupon, Google has decided to build their own competitor to the program.

Social web company Mashable unearthed documents today that show in detail how Google plans to take on Groupon on their own turf. In the spec sheet for the new program, Google says the product, called “Google Offers” is “a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email.”

Just like competitors Groupon and LivingSocial, Google Offers gives customers a certain time limit for obtaining special offers from company’s in their area and through national deals. The offers, just like their competitors is only triggered when a certain number of customers agree to the deal. [Read more…]

Groupon Worth $15 Billion? Some Analysts Think So

Groupon Logo

Groupon LogoWhen social buying website Groupon turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google, it was a shock to many industry insiders who thought the offer was generous, but now The New York Times’ DealBook blog is reporting that the company is ready to “push ahead with plans for an initial public offering, a debut that could value the company at $15 billion or more.”

The announcement of a potential IPO comes just one week after we reported that the company raised $950 million in venture capital from various firms and expanded their reach from one to 35 countries with 500 new markets in 2010 alone, while increasing site use by 2,500% and bringing in more than 60,000 unique businesses to their marketing fold.

With talks of a “company bubble” surrounding some analysts thoughts, DealBook is reporting that Groupon is trying to raise their IPO when the goings good: [Read more…]

Groupon Collects $950 Million, Sees Massive Growth In 2010


Groupon LogoGotta love the team at Groupon, first they turn down multi-billion dollar offers, including one buyout attempt of more than $6 billion from Google, then they title their press release “Groupon Raises, Like, A Billion Dollars.”

The $950 million dollar payday comes from a huge list of backers. According to ReadWriteWeb those backers include:

“Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Group, Maverick Capital, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures. Allen & Company LLC acted as financial advisor.”

[Read more…]

Amazon Exec Scooped Up By Groupon, Speculation Begins

Jason Child

Jason ChildWhat do you do after turning down a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google? If you’re the Groupon team you head out and hire Jason Child, a former Amazon financial executive

Over the last several months rumors have surfaced that Groupon would go public and with the man behind $14 billion worth of Amazon sales at the helm of the company those rumors may in fact be correct.  Child handled that cash most recently as Amazon’s VP of finance.

Child also served as Amazon’s director of investor relationship and VP of finance for the Asian market.

Regardless of the reason for Groupon’s new hire, we can probably expect some type of financing to com Groupons way, either in the way of an IPO or big rounds of investor funding.  Also with Groupon acquiring several competitors in Europe and Asia over the last several months, Child’s experience in those regions could help grow the company’s reach in those regions.

What do you think about the acquisition of Jason Child from Amazon?

Groupon Says No Thanks To High Priced Google Buyout

Groupon - Social Buying Website Logo

Groupon - Social Buying Website Logo

Groupon on Friday was rumored to have turned down a massive $6 billion buyout offer by Google, a bold move for the company that currently nets just $50 million per month.

The offer, according to Bloomberg, included $5.3 billion with a $700 million earnout.

So why the urge to stay independent? Some analyst numbers actually place the companies earnings at much higher numbers, with AllThingsD believing the company may generate $2 billion in yearly sales, rather than the recently reported $500 million figure. [Read more…]

Google Acquires Groupon For $2.5 Billion [Rumor]

Groupon Screen Capture

Groupon Screen CaptureIf rumors are to be believed, search giant Google today purchased social savings website Groupon for $2.5 billion.

The acquisition announcement comes from Vatornews who says they have it on the word of a “reliable source” close to the negotiations that the site has been purchased and will switch hands over to Google.

While neither Google or Groupon have confirmed the deal, the price of acquisition is in line with the $2 to $3 billion mark Yahoo tried to purchase the company for earlier in the year.

If the rumors are true, the company, founded in 2008 would become one of the quickest internet sites to ever reach above the $1 billion valuation point. The sites estimated $50 million per month in revenues would also mean Google has purchased a company that’s already earning enough to pay for itself in three to four short years, possibly less with the number of customers flocking to the site on a daily basis and now with the Google brand supporting the websites future, but again only if rumors are true.

[Read more…]

Google To Buy Groupon? Some Positives and Negatives [Rumor]

Groupon - Google Acquisition Rumors

Groupon - Google Acquisition Rumors

Every now and then a possible buyout of a big company is rumored to be underway at the offices of Google, a few months back it was a $2.5 billion buyout attempt of Twitter and today it’s the world’s largest social coupon sharing website Groupon.

According to Kara Swisher at AllThings Google is willing to pay above the $2 billion to $3 billion offered to the company by Yahoo. At this time the two company’s are not disclosing any details about the deal or for that matter if a deal is even in the works.

The move would be a big win for Google who could claim yet another dominance in local search, currently their services already allow mobile and other users to search for local businesses and other locations based on their location. The move would also give a big boost to the company’s Google Places interface by providing a comprehensive local deals system to uses on Google Places. Google could of course then make money from the Groupon system itself and through their ads based platform, allowing for extra revenue to be created for the newly purchased company.

With Google attempting to build out their Google Me social networking system, the Groupon acquisition could also provide a nice integration into their social networking attempt, which in turn could bring with it a loyal customer base that already spends nearly $50 million per month with the social coupon site. Groupon customers provide each other with a valuable social networking service, so why not bring them together to help form your new social community? [Read more…]