Will Groupon survive the hype?

The Groupon logo is displayed on the company's website June 2, 2011 in Chicago, Ill.

Jeremy Hobson: Groupon is going public. The social coupon marketing company hopes to raise $750 million later this year. Groupon has 7,000 employees, and it's issued more than 70 million coupons.

But Marketplace's Steve Henn reports some analysts still aren't convinced.


Steve Henn: Groupon is just 30 months old, an adorable two-and-a-half. But last quarter, this precocious tot hauled in more than $600 million in revenue. Groupon's growing so fast, Google tried to buy it last December reportedly for $6 billion.

Van Baker: I don't get it -- this is coupons. What's the big deal?

Van Baker is a retail marketing analyst at Gartner. He says Groupon's business is ridiculously easy to copy.

Baker: There are literally about 300 Groupon knock-offs in the market right now.

And as firms like Google and Amazon launch their own daily deals, Groupon's revenue seems sure to get squeezed.

But that hasn't hurt investor interest. In January, the company raised close to $1 billion. But its executives didn't invest that money in the business; instead, Groupon's founders and early investors walked off with more than $800 million in cash, according to yesterday's SEC filing.

So Baker says he isn't exactly rushing to get this deal.

Baker: I think I'll wait for the 50 percent off deal on the Groupon stock.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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