Back in 2010, Google offered to buy Groupon for $5.75 billion.
The board and investors believed they had the next eBay on their hands – a company that could and should be worth $30 billion or more on the public markets.
Then Groupon had an IPO in late 2011.
It hasn’t fared as well as its investors expected on the public markets.
Today, Groupon has a $4.54 billion market capitalisation.
That’s more than a billion dollars less than Google offered to pay.
Yesterday, we had Groupon’s co-CEOs in our office.
We asked one of them, cofounder Eric Lefkofsky, how he reflects back on turning down Google’s money.
Mostly, he responded exactly how you’d expect.
He said he and his fellow board members thought they were making the right call at the time, and that they still believe Groupon will turn into a huge company worth multiples of Google’s offer.
One actually revealing thing Lefkofsky said, though, was that sometimes the Google offer will come up and “my wife will elbow me in the ribs.”