Online group coupon startup-turned-giant Groupon finalized on June 2 what everyone has long awaited for it do: Go public. The company has filed their IPO at the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing an initial $750 million fund for new shares that they plan to add to the undetermined number that their investors are holding on to. Anonymous sources say that they plan to raise $3 billion before they debut, something that would put Groupon’s worth at $30 billion, more than Google’s $27 billion when it stared. The social networking company shares deals which come with discounts after a certain number of people agree to participate in the deal. The move of the online company follows that of LinkedIn which was valued at $9 billion after its first trading day ended. Despite the fervor behind the development, Groupon representatives say that it still has not made a final decision on how many shares they are willing to put on the public market, and are also still unsure of what to price each share. The Chicago-based company’s transition has, unfortunately, caused many industry watchers to doubt and wonder if the speed that it has grown is a sign of a bubble market. With the collapse of many internet companies in the late 90′s after a fast run up in valuation, some are wondering if we are heading in that direction again. CEO Andrew Mason of Groupon has a letter that was included in the file submitted to the SEC, calling to their potential stockholders that they will still continue on with the practices that had brought the company to life despite making the transition to being public. Also included in the filing are Groupon’s statistics, showing that they are operating in 175 US markets and have over 83 million subscribers in 43 countries. Choosing to go with the trading name of “GRPN”, Groupon has stated in it financial report that its revenue is numbered at $645 million in this year’s first quarter, nearly 200 times more than the $3.3 million it earned two years ago. Mason has by now cautioned the potential investors to manage their expectations about the profit of the company, as at the same time, Groupon’s overhead expense last year reached more than $430 million. Groupon has competition from many others in the space, including LivingSoclal who appears to be doing well. With Groupon’s success, even Facebook and Google are moving into the deals area with hopes of taking some of the money that is involved for themselves. Groupon has called in the help of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse in underwriting their file.

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