In her lead-in to an exclusive interview with Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, All Things D’s Kara Swisher just reported this bombshell:It’s not well known, but last year before it went public, Groupon almost didn’t.
With pressure from former board member Howard Schultz and also doubts about timing expressed by outside investors such as Marc Andreessen and Mary Meeker to CEO Andrew Mason, the Chicago-based daily deals site pressed forward anyway.
Before it hit the public markets last year, Groupon faced a number of challenges. In particular, it looked like a company that was only able to grow thanks to huge spends on marketing that insured losses instead of profits.
Groupon finally turned a profit two quarters ago, but it’s growth has slowed, and investors remain severely displeased. The stock debuted at $26 per share and is not selling for $4.61.