2010 ended with the official news that Groupon managed to raise over half of their $950 million fundraising target.
With $500 million raised so far, $345 million will be used to pay out long time Groupon investors and management.
"Fortune has learned that all Groupon shareholders recently received a letter offering to buy back up to 15% of current stock holdings, and the SEC filing indicates that $345 million of the $500 million will be used to cash out insiders (both investors and management)."
Groupon last raised $135 million in May from DST. The valuation at that time was $1.35 billion. Today the valuation lies at least at $4 billion.
Groupon has an additional $450 million worth of stock still available in their offering.
Groupon launched a $950 milllion fundraising round just 2 weeks after rejecting an estimated $6 billion takeover offer from Google. Apparently the deal fell apart due to concerns about anti-trust regulation.
It was already previously speculated that part of that financing would go towards cashing out existing investors. As part of the course of Groupon’s global takeovers, the circle of investors has widened considerably. It would be interesting to see who else will stay on board and who makes an exit.
The NY Times has reported on a planned public offering from Groupon for the end of 2011:
"Groupon has attracted several big institutional investors, people briefed on the matter told DealBook on Wednesday.
The red-hot start-up is negotiating financing commitments with Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley, these people said.
With its investor base expanding, Groupon is preparing to go public as soon as the end of 2011."