Daily deals giant Groupon might be in talks with several banks to file for an initial public offering later this year that would value the company at $25 billion, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
Groupon works with local businesses to offer steep discounts — sometimes anywhere from 50 to 90 percent. For example, it offered a year’s subscription to car-sharing service Zipcar along with $30 in driving credit for $30 — down from the typical cost of around $115.
The business model has proven it works well. Groupon’s success has inspired a number of “me-too” companies that focus on daily deals. Savings.com, for example, launched at the Launch Conference in San Francisco last month and aggregates a large number of deals from multiple sites. But none are more compelling than LivingSocial, which raised $175 million from online retailer Amazon.com in December.
It was clear that Groupon had its eyes set on going public after it spurned a $6 billion buyout offer from Google. The company said it expanded from 1 to 35 countries and grew from 2 million to more than 50 million subscribers in the past year when it announced its most recent funding round.
The daily deal site recently raised nearly $1 billion in a funding round closed in January. The site is backed by venture capital titans like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen-Horowitz and Greylock Partners. The most recent funding round valued Groupon at roughly $4.75 billion. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have spoken with Groupon about taking the company public at a valuation of $15 billion, according to the Bloomberg report.