Add Groupon to the list of recent web companies to file for its IPO. The customer rewards and discount aggregating website filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission today (here), and expects to go public sometime very soon, though an exact date was not listed in the filings. The company filed for an IPO in the amount of $750 million, with big-leaguer banks Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) signed on as lead underwriters for the deal. Groupon will trade under the ticker symbol (GRPN).
The company is boasting some impressive financial statistics and growth numbers in its regulatory paperwork. Notable among them; Groupon currently employs more than 7,000 people, offering over 1,000 daily deals to 83 million subscribers in 43 different countries. The firm has sold over 70 million “groupons” thus far. The company’s growth numbers are impressive, as the firm is less than three years old (officially started in November of 2008), and reported revenues of $644 million last quarter. Over the past year Groupon has expanded its business from just five markets in North America to 143 markets world-wide. In that period of time, the number of merchants offering deals through Groupon’s website has skyrocketed from 212 to nearly 57,000 businesses. In spite of some appealing growth numbers, Groupon has had difficulty turning a profit, reporting losses of $147 million in the first quarter this year.
Groupon’s decision to IPO now comes well-timed, as demand for social media and web 2.0 offerings has been evident in recent public entrances by LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), RenRen (NYSE:RENN), and others. However, the company may begin to lose some of its appeal to investors, as word is spreading that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) plans to give Groupon a run for its money, and business model, and will enter into direct competition with the upstart tech boomer by offering online discounts and rewards through its own “Google Offers” program. (Read more on Google Offers here).