Groupon files for IPO

Daily deals site Groupon yesterday filed for an initial public offering, saying it plans to raise up to US$750 million, the Chicago Tribune reported.

However, the filing is expected to drive the debate over whether an investment bubble is forming around up-and-coming Internet companies, The Associated Press pointed out. The debate began when LinkedIn announced it was filing for an IPO.

Groupon’s revenue for the first three months this year reached $645 million, and in all of 2010 was at $713 million. Of the company’s first quarter revenue, the Chicago market was responsible for $21.5 million, as more than 950,000 coupons were sold to 1.5 million subscribers, according to the Tribune.

The Chicago-based Groupon’s full valuation has been estimated at between $15 billion to $20 billion, and in December Google Inc. made a $6 billion buyout offer. “Groupon’s rejection of the search giant’s bid made the investment community snap to attention. The IPO is expected to further solidify the company’s position as a leading member of a new vanguard of tech firms,” the Tribune explained.

Also yesterday, Internet radio company Pandora announced it is filing for an IPO, hoping to raise $123 million.

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