Groupon Fatigue

Look, Groupon Is Totally a Serious Company Now, Okay?

Just not the best fit, probably.

We haven’t heard too much from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason lately. (One gets the impression he felt the need to lie low for a little while.) But it seems he’s decided to reemerge into the public eye with a Businessweek profile wherein he puts on his absolute most serious, most adult, most professional game face.

Well, considering the company’s plunging stock price, it’s probably about time for a charm offensive.

For one thing, the man dressed up: Read More

Groupon Fatigue

Hey, Some Good News for Groupon, For Once

Just not the best fit, probably.

Well, well, will you look at that: Long-suffering Groupon finally had a good day. Q1 results are in, and the AP reports that revenues are up and losses slimming. Of course, after that mortifying Q4 earnings revision, the company badly needed things to go well. Maybe they’re getting better at being a public company, after all.

Revenues were up 89 percent year-over-year, from $295.5 million to $559.3 million. That number also beat expectations: Groupon had forecast somewhere between $510 million and $550 million, whereas analysts averaged out at $530.5 million. The company was also losing less money: Just $11.7 million this quarter, as opposed to $146.5 million in Q1 of 2011. There’s something to be said for moving in the right direction, at least.  Read More

Stupid Risks

This Is Why Groupon Can’t Have Nice Things

Mr. Mason. (

It’s been a long tumble from the height of the hype cycle for Groupon. Stock performance has been lackluster, and there’s an ever-louder chorus of doubts about the business model. So yesterday probably wasn’t the best time for CEO Andrew Mason to get caught by The Wall Street Journal admitting to a roomful of employees that he’d maybe had a little too much to drink. Whoops!

The Journal does not sound amused: Read More


The Groupon IPO Guessing Contest: Win a Cookie!


Groupon’s IPO is going to be priced sometime today! It goes on sale tomorrow. THE MOST IMPORTANT IPO IN DAILY DEALS HISTORY IS FINALLY HERE, HAROLD CAMPING! So, we’re having a contest. Here’s how it works:

1. Betabeat will make guesses on the IPO, both the IPO price and the price at day’s end.

2. If any of your guesses are closer to the actual IPO than Betabeat’s, we will give you a cookie. A real cookie.

3. No cheating, no going to the future and finding out what it is, no insider trading, no guesses from Andrew Masons, Groupon Cats, or dogs. Read More

IP Uh Oh

Groupon Off: The Juiciest Bits from Business Insider’s Massive Groupon Story


Groupon, Groupon, Groupon: Everyone’s talking about the original daily deals company in the leadup to their public debut on the markets. Everyone has a theory about what their company is and isn’t; what their future can be and can’t. And Business Insider—ever so often derided for their cut-and-paste journalism—did something late last night with Groupon that they sometimes tend to do: published a sprawling, sensational, and sourced piece of reporting that covers entire swaths of narratives both primary and otherwise on a hot subject. Meet “INSIDE GROUPON: The Truth About The World’s Most Controversial Company.

It doesn’t contain any groundbreaking revelations on the company. It’s not going to open them up to further points of scrutiny or single-handedly change the fate of Groupon’s IPO.

But it does offer some great insight from the inside and it  is, admittedly, an excellent read. Here are our favorite parts: Read More

IP Uh Oh

It’s Not That Groupon Wants to IPO, So Much as It Has To (Legally and Financially Speaking)


In case anyone was wondering why Groupon, the tech press’s favorite new punching bag, would restart its delayed road show and try to go public right now (during the biggest IPO backlog since 2000), there are a couple easy answers.

Bloomberg reports that Groupon (1) both needs cash to grow and (2) is close to the 500-shareholder threshold, at which point its required to report detailed financial information every quarter. Usually that’s the point where startups figure: Eh, might as well IPO.

Groupon, which is seeking to raise as much as $540 million, but only selling five percent equity, claims that it doesn’t need the money for at least a year and isn’t desperate for the cash. But as Bloomberg reports: Read More

IP Uh Oh

Andrew Mason: Groupon’s Future To Come From Moments of ‘Sheer Stupidity’


Hey, look! Groupon’s stock prospectus is out! There are plenty of numbers and mind-numbing details in it that we won’t bore you with. Instead we’ll just focus on the crazypants guru talk Andrew Mason threw in there, which distinguishes Groupon from the average I.P.O. stock prospectus out there.

Take, for example, the following quote from Mr. Mason’s letter to potential stockholders: Read More

IP Uh Oh

Groupon Promises to Stop Spending on Things That Don’t Work So Good No More

Just not the best fit, probably.

Groupon filed an amended S-1 document today for its delayed IPO, which has been under scrutiny from investors and the SEC. The startup has been critiqued for the fact that is has had to boost spending to add users to its email list. The filing says the company plans to “significantly” reduce online marketing spending “over time as such investments yield insufficient returns,” reports Bloomberg.

According to the filing, those marketing costs stopped paying off because of “changes in subscriber economics, achievement of subscriber saturation levels in various markets or a determination that subscriber growth objectives can be satisfied though alternative means.”

The company insists that cutting back won’t negatively impact businesses with existing subscribers, although trends have shown users tend to be less engaged and profitable over time. Read More

IP Uh Oh

Groupon Through the Glass Door, Darkly

Employees of the daily deal giant have filed a class action lawsuit claiming Groupon failed to pay them millions of dollars in overtime pay. It’s another blow to an already shaky company, whose accounting is being questioned by the SEC. Groupon cancelled its IPO roadshow earlier this week.

The story broke in PaidContent, which mentioned that several posts on Glass Door, a site where employees can anonymously rate their company and bosses, made mention of long hours under difficult conditions. Betabeat wandered over to check out some of these reviews. What we found was a little shocking. Some choice reviews: Read More