It looks like snubbing the world’s number one search engine was the right move after all.
Just a little over a month after rejecting Google’s $5.3 billion offer, daily deals website – and one of today’s fastest growing companies – Groupon has raised $950 million in one of the largest venture funding rounds of all time.
The financing came from a long list of venture capital firms and investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, DST, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Silver Lake, Maverick Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures, Mail.Ru Group, and New Enterprise Associates.
“We’re thrilled that Groupon has earned the confidence of some of the world’s most respected investment firms,” said Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon. “With their support, we will continue on our mission to change the way people shop locally and serve the world’s local businesses.”
Added Greylock Partners venture capitalists Reid Hoffman and James Slayet in a TechCrunch guest blog post: “We believe Groupon is the break-out leader in the massive local commerce space and its investment in data will be a critical ingredient in its long-term march to build a meaningful and foundational company.”
Groupon says that the money will be used to invest in technology, expand the company’s global network, and provide liquidity for employees and early investors.
The year 2010 saw Groupon, a Chicago-based firm, experience explosive growth – and not just because search engine giant Google wanted to buy the company. Last year, the two-year-old daily deals site managed to expand from 1 to 35 countries, launch in 500 new markets, grow its subscriber base from 2 million to over 50 million worldwide (mainly through online advertising), and partner with over 58,000 local businesses in serving over 100,000 deals. The company’s revenues are rumored to be around $800 million a year.
Shortly after the completion of this financing round, Groupon announced that it has acquired deals and coupon sites in India, Israel, and South Africa. This adds to the growing list of acquisitions critical to fueling Groupon’s global expansion. Last December, Groupon launched country-level websites in Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.