How Groupon's Latest Round Turned Into A $950 Million Monster

marissa mayer

Photo: Flickr/TechCrunch50-2008

In December, Groupon’s board shocked the world when it turned down a $6 billion acquisition from Google.Then, a couple weeks later, Groupon filed to raise as much as $950 million in a new round. Last week, it filed to say its raised $500 million of that amount. Reports named DST, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price as investors.

Now, a source familiar with the process tells us to expect Groupon to announce the final $450 million in the next few weeks.

The timing of all this funding news begat an impression that Groupon’s board was quickly capitalising on the size of Google’s offer to take a huge new round at a generous valuation. That’s only half the story.

Turns out Groupon was almost done with its huge funding round at a “slightly lower valuation” (perhaps the $4.75 billion others are reporting?) before Google (reportedly pushed by Marissa Mayer, pictured) came calling earlier this fall.

When Groupon turned down Google’s offer, it found investors suddenly willing to pay an even higher-premium. That’s how the valuation ended up around the $6.4 billion figure reported by VC Buzz.

Where will that $950 million go? We’re hoping not into new offices for Groupon’s army of comedians-turned-sales-people. That place is too cool to give up.

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