Deals

RetailMeNot files for IPO, shows coupons really are sexy

coupons

Coupons may not be sexy, but IPOs are.

RetailMeNot, “the world’s largest digital coupon marketplace,” filed for a proposed initial public offering. The proposed maximum aggregate offering price is $230 million, and the stock will be listed on the NASDAQ as “SALE.”

In February, RetailMeNot announced that it crossed the 1 billion visits threshold since the site launched in 2006. The marketplace features coupons from over 60,000 retailers and companies, and it has contracts with more than 10,000 retailers. RetailMeNot brought in $113.4 million in net revenue in 2012 and in the first quarter of 2013 alone generated $406 million. Its Coupons app has been downloaded more than 3 million times.

RetailMeNot features digital coupons across a range of product categories. The discounts are accessible through web and mobile applications and consumers can easily search for, and redeem relevant offers for online and in-store purchases. Brands can use RetailMeNot’s channel to reach and engage consumers, and the business is built on a pay-for-performance model.

“We believe our marketplace benefits from network effects. As more consumers use our marketplace, we are better able to obtain high quality digital coupons from retailers and brands, which in turn attracts a larger consumer audience,” the company¬† said in its S-1 filing. “We seek to reinforce our position as the leading digital coupon destination by continuing to increase consumer traffic and growing the breadth and depth of our digital coupons, as well as our retailer and brand relationships.”

The company is growing fast. Retailers and brands are always looking for ways to attract consumers and encourage them to spend, and consumers are always looking to save money. A January article by eMarketer estimated that 48 percent of U.S. adult Internet users redeemed a digital coupon for online or offline shopping the past year.

By going public, RetailMeNot intends to increase traffic and monetization, growth depth of paid relationships with retailers, invest in technology and innovation, expand internationally, and pursue strategic acquisitions.

Austin company WhaleShark Media acquired Australian RetailMeNot in 2010. WhaleShark Media has raised $300 million to date and assumed the name of RetailMeNot. In 2011, the company started on acquisition spree and scooped up VoucherCodes.co.uk as well as other local coupon sites including deals com in Germany, bone-de-reduction and Poulpeo in France, and most recently, actiepagina.nl in the Netherlands.