Groupon IPO at an 88% Discount?

Oct 3, 2011, 1:14 pm EDT

Groupon looks like the incredibly shrinking IPO. Just six months ago, its valuation was roughly $25 billion. Now? Well, according to a Bloomberg article, it could be as low as $3 billion. Keep in mind that last December, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) offered $6 billion for the daily-deals site.

So why the implosion? For the most part, it is yet another classic case of the boom-bust nature of the tech world. Let’s face it, only a few companies are able to become long-term winners, such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The rest either sell out or go bust.

In the case of Groupon, it certainly was targeting a huge market opportunity. Local merchants always are trying to find ways to get customers. So yes, they will pay a premium for this. Read 

Kayak Ends Its IPO Trip — For Now

Sep 30, 2011, 10:58 am EDT

Will we see any more IPOs this year? Maybe not, amid a brutally volatile market. The latest casualty, according to a report in All Things Digital, is travel site Kayak, which has postponed its IPO.

However, the company plans to maintain its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Might as well be prepared for when the IPO window opens up again, right?

Actually, Kayak continues to grow at a nice pace. For the first six months of this year, revenues increased by 36% to $109.4 million, and adjusted EBITDA came to $13.3 million. The site saw 443 million user queries, up 49% over the past year. Read 

GrubHub Not Quite Ready to Order an IPO

Sep 29, 2011, 10:57 am EDT

While IPOs might be a tough bet for the rest of the year, venture capitalists still are optimistic. They continue to pour huge amounts of money into high-growth companies. And, as seen with the recent public offerings of companies like Zillow (NYSE:Z), HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), it still looks like investors are interested in next-generation dot-coms.

So what companies are VCs looking at? One interesting example is GrubHub, which raised $50 million in a new funding. The investors include Lightspeed Ventures, Mesirow Financial, Benchmark Capital, Greenspring Associates and DAG Ventures.

GrubHub got its start back in 2007. The founders met while at but got the entrepreneurial itch. Basically, they saw an opportunity to transform the restaurant business. GrubHub would make it extremely easy to order food online, then have it delivered. The service would be free to users, but companies would be required to pay a commission for each lead. Read 

LivingSocial Not Going Out in Public

Sep 27, 2011, 2:10 pm EDT

Despite all its drama, Groupon still is the dominant player in the daily-deals space. But that probably does not matter much. In light of the tough market conditions, it looks increasingly unlikely that Groupon will launch its IPO this year. No. 2 daily-deals player LivingSocial probably will share the same fate.

According to a Bloomberg report, it looks like LivingSocial instead will raise $200 million in private capital. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is expected to lead the financing.

This is certainly a big letdown. After all, it was not long ago that LivingSocial was planning to raise at least $1 billion in an IPO, with a valuation of $10 billion. The company even was able to raise $400 million in April, including marquee investors like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Read 

Tumblr Raises $85M Despite Skinny Revenues

Sep 26, 2011, 2:51 pm EDT

In today’s volatile markets, investors even have a tough time buying solid companies like Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and IBM (NYSE:IBM). Isn’t the world falling into a recession?

Well, this kind of pessimism means nothing to venture capitalists. Not even the terrible IPOs of Pandora (NYSE:P) and Demand Media (NYSE:DMD) have had an effect.

Hey, there always is something new in Techland. Just take a look at Tumblr. This week, the company raised a cool $85 million in financing. Investors included Greylock Partners, Insight Venture Partners, The Chernin Group, Capital, Union Square Ventures and Sequoia Capital. Even Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson wrote a check. Read 

Groupon Having an IPO Meltdown

Sep 26, 2011, 10:54 am EDT

Even when the equities markets are in the bull mode, it’s not easy to pull off an IPO. A CEO needs to spend lots of time wooing investors as well as making sure the business is running smoothly. It’s a tough balancing act.

That’s why it is important to have experienced leadership. This certainly has been critical for recent IPOs like Zillow (NYSE:Z) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD).

But when it comes to the Groupon deal, things have been much different. The company’s 29-year-old CEO, Andrew Mason, can’t seem to do anything right. Read 

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