Some of Groupon’s early investors and its founders just sold a $135 million portion of their stock in the company at $1 billion-plus valuation to Russian holding company Digital Sky Technologies (DST).
We called Groupon CEO Andrew Mason and asked him if he was going to use the money to buy a new car or an apartment.
Nope, he told us.
“I’m not a fancy, flashy guy,” he said.
“For me, the reason to do this was to solve a binary life problem,” he explained.
In life, Andrew says, “You either have enough [money] or you don’t.”
“When people came with a lot of money to buy a very small percentage of Groupon and it was enough to permanently solve the money problem, why would I not want to do that?
“Now I can focus on making Groupon great.”
A source close to Groupon — not Andrew — tells us reports suggesting Groupon revenues will reach $350 million this year “are significantly underestimating the size of the business this year.”
We asked Andrew for details but he declined.
He said he’d rather talk about Groupon’s new publicity stunt Live Off Groupon, wherein a Groupon user will try to live off nothing but Groupon coupons for a whole year.
“He’s probably going to die,” Andrew jokes. “It’s going to be awesome.”
“Once you’ve had success on the level of Groupon, it’s very hard to become stimulated in anyway. Some people come up with weird sexual fetishes. I thought it would interesting to be involved in someone’s death.”
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